Traffic in Beijing: The lockdowns reduce China’s daily oil consumption by almost 64 million liters.
The hope that Beijing will relax the measures that have been very strict so far is fueling the expectation of higher demand. But questions remain.
Dhe oil prices rose sharply on Friday. There was again speculation on the market that China could relax its strict corona policy. This fueled hopes of higher demand. A barrel (159 liters) of North Sea Brent with delivery in January cost 96.55 US dollars in the morning. That was $1.92 more than the day before. The price of a barrel of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) grade for delivery in December rose $1.94 to $90.11.
In the morning, rumors were again circulating on social media that China could be facing a change in corona policy. There had already been speculation during the week about a possible departure from the strict zero-Covid strategy of the leadership in Beijing, but this was rejected by the Chinese authorities. Nevertheless, investors on the oil market have again bet on a possible easing, market observers said, which drove prices up sharply.
The consistent action in China against the spread of the corona virus has repeatedly led to extensive lockdowns in recent months. Analysts at the Bank of China assume that as a result of the tough corona policy, oil demand in China has fallen by an average of 400,000 barrels per day this year.