Crude oil prices inched up on Wednesday over reports that China’s demand for spot crude is recovering after nearly five months of slower purchases. At 1300 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, gained $0.05 (+0.07 percent) to reach $71.68 a barrel. Similarly, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $68.51 a barrel, up by $0.01 (+0.01 percent). The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $71.48 a barrel with 1.03 percent increase, Arab Light was available at $72.71 a barrel with 2.15 percent decrease, while the price of Russian Sokol slipped to $71.62 after shedding 1.19 percent. Meanwhile, China’s demand for spot crude appears to be recovering after nearly five months of slower purchases caused by a shortage of import quotas, drawdowns from high inventories and Covid-19 lockdowns that muted Chinese fuel consumption. Softer buying since April by the world’s top crude importer and a drop in China’s refining output to 14-month lows in July depressed the prices of staple crude grades from West Africa and Brazil to multi-month lows. However, the analysts said that Chinese importers are now increasing the pace of purchases and paying higher premiums to secure supplies from November onwards as lockdown restrictions ease. A sustained rebound in demand by China may tighten supplies and support global oil prices .