Crude futures rise on upbeat China trade data, Saudi output cuts

10 January 2013 12:32  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures rose by more than $1.00/bbl on Thursday, following the release of  positive December trade data from China, news of a marked reduction in Saudi crude production and a pipeline attack in Yemen.

At 11:45 GMT, February Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $113.01/bbl, up by $1.25/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark rose to a session high of $113.29/bbl, up by $1.53/bbl.

February NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $94.42/bbl, up by $1.32/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark rose to a session high of $94.70/bbl, up by $1.60/bbl.

December trade data from China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, revealed a 14.1% year on year increase in exports – substantially higher than forecasted levels of around 4%. Imports also grew by 6% year on year in December, which indicated growing domestic demand.

The data was broadly welcomed, following concerns earlier in 2012 over the slowdown in growth in China and in global demand for Chinese goods.

Meanwhile, there were media reports that Saudi Arabia had cut December crude output to around 9m bbl/day, down from 9.5m bbl/day in November.

Saudi output has been reduced amid weaker demand and recent increases in US production, which has been buoyed by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technology. In June 2012 Saudi production hit a high of 10.1m bbl/day.

Meanwhile, oil flows through Yemen’s main export pipeline, which carries Marib Light crude to an export terminal on the Red Sea, have been halted following an explosion.

Yemen only restarted pumping oil along the pipeline on 31 December, after completing repairs following an earlier attack by rebels. 

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4327

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