The price of Brent oil for the first time since the end of January 2020 exceeded $ 60 per barrel during trading on the Intercontinental Exchange. As of 8:47 am Moscow time, the price of April futures for Brent crude grew by + 1.2% to $ 60.05 per barrel. March futures for WTI crude rose 1.25% to $ 57.56.
Oil has risen in price since the end of October amid the registration and use of new vaccines against coronavirus, Bloomberg notes. The head of the Asian division of Vitol, Mike Mueller, in an interview with Gulf Intelligence, noted that in terms of "euphoria" against the background of vaccine registration, the oil market may even "rush things".
According to Bloomberg, prices are also affected by the growing demand for oil in China. As of last Friday, 127 supertankers were sent to the country, which, when fully loaded, can deliver more than 250 million barrels. Royal Dutch Shell Plc CEO Ben Van Beurden said last week that fuel sales to China have returned to a "strong growth mode".
The rise in oil prices was also driven by the recent OPEC + deal, in which Saudi Arabia voluntarily agreed to cut oil production to 8.5 million barrels per day in February and March 2021. “The fundamental picture of improving demand and discipline on the supply side suggests that the market has clear upside potential,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist for CMC Markets Asia Pacific in Sydney, told Bloomberg.