Brent Crude: futures were trading around $114-per-barrel, easing from an almost two-month peak of $115.6 as traders tracked developments around a proposed EU ban on Russian oil, a move that would tighten global supply further.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers failed to pressure Hungary to lift its veto of a proposed oil embargo on Russia, and some diplomats now point to a May 30-31 summit as the moment for an agreement.
Also, plans for easing Covid-19 restrictions in China lifted fuel demand hopes. Still, the latest data pointed to lower demand from the world’s second-largest economy as China processed 11% less crude oil in April than a year ago due to Covid lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark and the US oil benchmark are now trading near parity as US gasoline prices surged to record highs on rising demand coupled with restrained refining capacity. US producers are ramping up production to replenish inventories that have dwindled amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.