China Gobbling Up Oil

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Fresh reports about an increase in Chinese demand for oil drove the price to a six month high, as it closed at $58.88 today.

The red state increased its crude oil imports by 14% in April, and deliveries hit 3.9 million barrels a day, according to the Chinese government (via Bloomberg.) The numbers shocked traders who weren’t expecting such a big jump.

It’s not just China that’s causing the price to lift. A stolen ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of oil sank off the coast of Nigeria today.

Today’s oil price flies in the face of the EIA’s short term energy outlook that said, “The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is expected to remain relatively flat for the remainder of 2009, averaging about $55 per barrel over the second half of 2009.  Assuming a modest economic improvement next year, WTI prices are expected to average about $58 in 2010.”

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