Crude oil futures traded lower on Thursday morning as the latest data showed China’s exports and imports declined in August.

At 9.52 a.m. on Thursday, November Brent oil futures were at $90.36, down by 0.26 per cent, and October crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $87.25, down by 0.33 per cent.

September crude oil futures were trading at ₹7,251 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading, against the previous close of ₹7305, down by 0.74 per cent, and October futures were trading at ₹7,195, as against the previous close of ₹7,243, down by 0.66 per cent.

Beat market expectations

The latest data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed an 8.8 per cent decline in exports during August. However, this was better than the market expectation of a 9.8 per cent decline. China’s exports declined by 14.5 per cent in July.

Data also showed China’s imports falling by 7.3 per cent in August. Again, this was better than market expectations for an 8.8 per cent decline. July imports had fallen by 12.4 per cent.

As a major consumer of crude oil, an improvement in the Chinese economy will help boost demand for the commodity in the world market.

Meanwhile, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a decline of 5.52 million barrels in oil inventories in that country for the week ending September 1, against market expectations for a decline of 1.42 million barrels.

Guar gum gains, cottonseed oil cake slips

Official data from US EIA (Energy Information Administration) is expected later in the day.

The world oil market is likely to face a tight supply situation in the coming months following the decision by two major oil producers — Saudi Arabia and Russia — to extend the production output cut till the end of 2023.

September natural gas futures were trading at ₹210.30 on MCX, against the previous close of ₹211.40, down by 0.52 per cent.

On NCDEX, cottonseed oil cake December futures dropped by ₹15 to ₹2,606 a quintal. Guar gum October contracts increased by ₹39 to ₹13,352 a quintal.

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