Crude oil futures rallied for the ninth consecutive day following the announcement of a partial European Union (EU) ban on Russian oil imports. As of 1740 hours GMT on Tuesday, the price of Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, surged by $1.84 (+1.51 percent) to $123.51. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the main oil benchmark for North America, went up by $3.70 a barrel (+3.22 percent) to $118.77. July-loading contracts of Brent and WTI are set to end May as the sixth straight month of rising prices. The price for Opec Basket increased from $118.84 to $120.01, showing an increase of $1.17 (+0.98 percent). The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend, Girassol, Djeno, Zafiro, Rabi Light, Iran Heavy, Basra Light, Kuwait Export, Es Sider, Bonny Light, Arab Light, Murban and Merey. The price of Russian Sokol increased to $108.34 a barrel with a 2.81 percent gain and Arab Light prices witnessed an increase of 3.03 percent to reach $119.84 a barrel. The European Union leaders said they have agreed to cut 90 percent of oil imports from Russia by the end of this year. The ban on Russian oil is expected to tighten a global crude market that has already been facing supply constraints amid post-pandemic demand recovery. Once fully adopted, msanctions on crude oil will be phased in over six months and on refined products over eight months. The embargo exempts pipeline oil from Russia as a concession to Hungary. Meanwhile, China decided to lift some coronavirus restrictions amid rising demand ahead of the peak US and European summer driving season.