Oil prices are rising, supported by expectations of higher demand in China

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Crude oil prices rose in early trading on Wednesday, supported by expectations of a recovery in demand on the part of China, after the cancellation of the “zero Covid” policy at the beginning of this year.

The demand for oil in China was affected during the last quarter of 2022, due to restrictions and closures of major cities and neighborhoods, which resulted in a decline in production and consumption, and the demand for derivatives was affected.

In early trading on Wednesday, Brent crude futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent, or 42 cents, to $86.58 a barrel.

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In the same direction, the prices of US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March delivery rose 0.33 percent, or 27 cents, to $80.42 a barrel.

China, under normal conditions, is the largest importer of crude oil in the world, with a daily average of more than 10.5 million barrels per day, and it is the second largest consumer with a daily average of 13.5 million barrels per day.

Global energy markets are awaiting the consequences of a European decision that will take effect on February 5 to ban imports of Russian fuel derivatives transported by sea to most countries of the bloc due to the war in Ukraine.