Oil Prices Rise as IEA Sees More Demand from China

Oil prices rose slightly in early trade on Monday after plummeting over 8% last week to more than three-week lows as worries about major economies outweighed signs of a recovery in China, the world’s largest oil importer.

Brent crude futures rose 15 cents, or 0.19%, to US$80.09 a barrel at 9.53 A.M. (Thai time), while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 9 cents, also 0.12% higher, to US$73.48 a barrel.

On Friday, oil prices dropped 3% for both WTI and Brent as the dollar gained strength in response to speculation that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates as a result of stronger-than-expected US employment data.

While worries of a recession dominated the market last week, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol noted on Sunday that China’s economic recovery continues to be a major factor in oil prices.

According to Birol, China’s rising demand for jet fuel accounts for half of the IEA’s forecasted increase in global oil demand this year.

He stated that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (Opec+) may have to reevaluate their plan to cut output by 2 million barrels per day until 2023, depending on the strength of the recovery.