Crude oil prices edged lower after hitting the highest level since August 02 on Thursday amid reports that China releases some crude oil from its strategic petroleum reserve and sells it to control rising prices. At 1340 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, shed $0.33 (-0.44 percent) to reach $75.13 a barrel. Similarly, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $72.26 a barrel, down by $0.35 (-0.48 percent). The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $73.29 a barrel with 1.82 percent increase, Arab Light was available at $74.53 a barrel with a 1.71 percent increase, while the price of Russian Sokol jumped to $75.46 after gaining 1.74 percent. According to experts, since the pandemic, the world’s top importers of crude oil appear to have become increasingly sensitive to oil price swings, especially when the swing is upwards. India’s former oil minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, was especially prompt and vocal in his reactions to any OPEC move that aimed at boosting prices any higher than New Delhi was comfortable with. India responded to some of these moves by ordering its state refiners to curb purchases from Middle Eastern oil producers. China has been diversifying its suppliers, too. Now India is selling oil from its strategic reserve. In fact, it announced its sale a few weeks before China. The purpose of the sale reported at the time was to lease space to refiners, but whether intentional or not, the sale would have an effect on prices. They said inflation has become a cause for anxiety – not just in China – yet few countries have the reserves to release to mitigate the effects of rising prices.