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    Oil Prices Retreat as US Production Uptick, China’s Economic Activity Rises, EU Restrictions Loom


    Oil prices are retreating as the start of the week, erasing some of Friday's gains that were spurred on by news of Russia's planned output cut.[0] The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March, traded in New York, settled at $78.06 per barrel, a decrease of 41 cents (0.5%) from its previous rate.[1] On Thursday, the closing price of Brent crude for March delivery, traded in London, was $84.50, which was a 0.7% decrease of 59 cents.[2]

    It was reported by the government that there was a slight increase in the weekly US crude production.[3] According to the Energy Information Administration, oil production in the week of January 27 was 12.151 million barrels per day, an increase of 1,000 barrels compared to the previous week, and over half a million barrels more than the same period in the previous year.[3] The Energy Information Administration reported that imports had risen by 1.4 million barrels a day.[3] Imports over the past four weeks were one percent higher than those during the same period last year.[3] Crude stockpiles rose by 4.1 million barrels from the previous week, and are approximately 4% higher than the five-year average for this period.[4]

    China, the world's largest oil importer, saw its economic activity pick up, which increased expectations for a resurgence in demand while containing price decreases. Goldman Sachs reports that oil demand in China in mid-January rose to 15.5 million bpd from 14.5 million bpd in late November. According to Goldman, Chinese consumption of crude is expected to increase by 1.0 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.[5]

    A possible EU restriction on Russian oil products could lead to a rise in energy prices.[6] Despite Brussels offering a draft version of the product price cap which fixes a limit of $100 per barrel on high-value products of Russian origin (diesel, jet, gasoline) and a $45 per barrel cap on low-value products (fuel oil, naphtha), the EU is still yet to agree on the price cap.[6]

    In response to the pricing restrictions imposed by G7 nations, Russia declared a 5% reduction in its oil production.[7] On June 8, 2022, Brent oil finished trading at $123.58 per barrel, before declining to $76.1 per barrel on December 9, 2022.[8] On January 23, Brent crude rose to a settlement of more than $89 per barrel; however, it has since decreased to below the $80 per barrel level.[8]

    0. “Sasfin : Forex Daily Market – Oil prices are retreating as new week kicks off”, 13 Feb. 2023,

    1. “Oil rates ease amid short-term request concerns” MENAFN.COM, 13 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Oil falls belatedly on U.S. stock build, but dollar dip saves bulls' hide By”, 9 Feb. 2023,

    3. “News From the Oil Patch: Crude prices nosedive” Hays Post, 7 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Oil prices finish lower after a 3-session climb” MarketWatch, 9 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Crude Prices Fall Back on Rising U.S. Inventories and Energy Demand Concerns” Barchart, 9 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Can Oil ETFs Jump in 2023 After a Low Start?” Zacks Investment Research, 7 Feb. 2023,

    7. “WTI crude futures settle at $79.72” ForexLive, 10 Feb. 2023,

    8. “Oil Prices Have Been in Turbulent Downtrend Since Mid-2022” Rigzone News, 8 Feb. 2023,

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