Oil extends gains for a third straight day

Amid Kurdish supply concerns and banking relief
Oil extends gains for a third straight day
Oil prices up

Oil prices rose for the third day in a row in early Asian trade on Wednesday, as the suspension of some exports from Iraqi Kurdistan raised concerns about a lack of supply, and market sentiment improved as fears of a banking crisis faded.

Brent crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.29 percent, to $78.88 per barrel, according to Reuters. West Texas Intermediate US crude rose 45 cents, or 0.61 percent, to $73.65 per barrel.

“Worries over reduced supply from Iraq’s Kurdistan region and a relief in financial markets worried about the banking sector turmoil continued to boost investors’ risk appetite,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities.

Read more: Oil prices bounce back after plummeting to lowest since 2021

Oil prices rallied this week after exports of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region were halted, following an arbitration decision that confirmed Baghdad’s consent was needed to ship the oil.

The latest announcement that First Citizens BancShares Inc will acquire failed Silicon Valley Bank also spurred optimism about the condition of the global banking sector.

US crude oil stocks fell by about 6.1 million barrels in the week ended March 24, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) figures on Tuesday.

Additionally, US crude oil stockpiles were seen rising by about 200,000 barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday, but analysts said products like gasoline could fall.

Gasoline stocks fell by about 5.9 million barrels and distillate stocks rose by about 550,000 barrels.

China’s crude oil imports are expected to rise by 6.2% in 2023 to 540 million tonnes, an annual forecast by a research unit of China National Petroleum Corp showed on Monday.

According to Bloomberg, significant amounts of Russian crude oil are still making their way to European ports, despite the European Union’s decision in December 2022 to ban the import of all types of Russian oil by sea.

In January 2023, approximately 1.37 million barrels per day of crude oil continued to flow through Russian ports to Europe, according to Bloomberg data.

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