Oil consumption in China, the world's largest oil importer, has rebounded sharply after the lifting of anti-cookie measures. Sheikh Nawaf al-Sabah, CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corp, said.
"An accumulated demand has built up during the pandemic," he told Bloomberg TV. - Now that (China's) economy is opening up, we are seeing a steady increase in demand. It's not a 'dead cat bounce'."
Energy traders are keeping a close eye on the situation in China. According to them, the pace of economic recovery in China will be the main factor affecting prices this year.
The CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. has become more optimistic. In December he spoke about his concerns about oil demand. Al-Sabah said at the time that Asian clients of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. did not want to increase its oil imports in 2023.
Brent crude prices have fallen nearly 7% since late December and are now slightly above $80 a barrel. Quotes fell as data pointed to difficulties in China's economic recovery. Nevertheless, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley expect Brent prices to rise above $100 a barrel in the 2nd half of the year.
Kuwait is OPEC's fourth largest oil producer. The country exports around 2m barrels a day, equivalent to 2% of global supply. China is Kuwait's biggest oil buyer.