China, the world's largest oil importer, has just increased demand for crude for the remainder of the year, supporting near-term prices despite a souring macroeconomic backdrop across the globe, elevated US dollar, and the impact of soaring interest rate rises on fuel use.
Bloomberg reported that Chinese buyers bought at least 10 million barrels last week from countries in the Middle East, West Africa, and South America. This could mean that the world's largest oil importer is back after imports slumped this summer due to waning demand amid an economic slowdown.
Cargoes are expected to arrive at tank farms between December and January.
The global oil benchmark Brent traded around the $96 handle a barrel on Friday. While that's 20% lower than the June peak of $122, tightening global supplies could soon send the crude prices above the physiological level of $100.