1 >> China's crude oil imports in March surged 22.5% from a year earlier to the highest for a single month since June 2020, data showed on Thursday, as refiners stepped up runs in anticipation of an economic recovery. Crude imports in March totalled 52.3 million tonnes, or 12.3 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
2 >> The global oil market could see tightness in the second half of 2023, which would push oil prices higher, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said on Wednesday. Oil prices have surged above $80 since the beginning of the month, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, surprised markets with an announcement of voluntary production cuts of 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) from May until the end of 2023.
WARNING TO SHORT-SELLERS = HIGHER PRICE OF OIL COMING.
Saudi warns speculators of more pain as OPEC+ meeting looms
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday he would inflict more pain on short sellers and told them to watch out just days before a planned OPEC+ meeting to decide on future oil policy.
"Speculators, like in any market they are there to stay, I keep advising them that they will be ouching, they did ouch in April, I don't have to show my cards I'm not a poker player... but I would just tell them watch out," he told the Qatar Economic Forum organised by Bloomberg.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, and other OPEC+ producers announced surprise voluntary cuts in April that lifted prices after a slump driven by concerns that a banking crisis could impact demand.