Chinese fuel demand has fallen sharply” since September because of the global credit crisis, the country’s biggest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp., said Nov. 17. Prices earlier fell on forecasts that a U.S. report today will show crude inventories expanded for a ninth week in a row.
Crude oil for January delivery rose as much as $1.72, or 3.4 percent, to $52.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $52.45 at 1:56 p.m. London time. The contract extended gains after a sharper than expected drop in U.S. durable goods orders weakened the dollar.
An Energy Department report today will probably show U.S. crude-oil supplies rose 1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Fuel demand during the four weeks ended Nov. 14 was down 7 percent from a year earlier, the department said last week.
Brent crude oil traded in London was at a premium against New York-traded oil for the first time since July 30. It was 2 cents more expensive than the U.S. benchmark at 1:50 p.m. in London.
Brent for January settlement rose as much as $2.14, or 4.3 percent, to $52.49 a barrel, and traded at $52.37 at 1:50 p.m. London time on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which controls more than 40 percent of the world’s crude, is due to meet in Cairo on Nov. 29 after a decision last month to cut production by 1.5 million barrels a day failed to prevent the slump in prices.