U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are breaking out to the upside of a seven-session trading range, solidifying its third consecutive weekly higher close.
The catalyst behind Friday’s strength is a report that showed China’s daily crude oil throughput rebounded in April from a 15-month low in March as refiners cranked up operations to meet renewed fuel demand after lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak were eased.
Friday’s move is impressive, but upside momentum had been building most of the week with the market underpinned by a friendly government inventories report, the announcement of government crude oil purchases for its strategic reserve and a dampening of concerns over rising supply by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
China’s Daily Crude Oil Throughput Rebounds
China processed a total of 53.85 million tonnes of crude oil last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday, equivalent to about 13.1 million barrels per day (bpd). That was some 11% higher than 11.78 million bpd in March.
The agency said on Friday it had adjusted the database of industrial enterprises it uses to help compile a range of production numbers. On that basis, April’s crude oil throughput was 0.8% above the year-ago level, it said; a Reuters calculation using NBS data from last year put the rise at 3.4%.
Additionally, state-backed refiners have pushed up…