Crude prices continued to rally after hitting their highest level in over a year, as production cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia in an effort to boost the pandemic-hit market were bolstered by a global drawdown in inventories.
Both international benchmark Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) advanced over one percent on Wednesday, trading at $58.18 per barrel and $55.44 per barrel respectively. The increase paves the way for another highest-closing record since the start of 2020.
Brent and WTI have climbed sharply since last year’s historic lows triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In one month alone, oil prices jumped by more than 10 percent.
The recent rally comes on the heels of bullish data from the American Petroleum Institute (API). US crude oil inventories shed some 4.3 million barrels last week, marking a seventh decline in eight weeks. Meanwhile, crude stockpiles in one of the biggest global oil importers, China, tumbled to their lowest level since last February, Bloomberg reports, citing market intelligence firm Kayrros.
Global energy markets were also supported by the latest supply cuts by Saudi Arabia, which came into force in February. Last month the kingdom announced its intention to slash oil output by one million barrels a day until the end of March. Riyadh’s cuts came on top of the existing production restrictions agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers led by Russia, together known as OPEC+.
“With the crude oil market currently switching into backwardation, we are hopeful that 2021 will be a good year for overall demand,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said, as the OPEC+ technical panel met on Tuesday.
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