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Exclusive-China agrees with U.S. to release oil reserves near Lunar New Year - sources

By Nidhi Verma and Timothy Gardner (Reuters) - China will release crude oil from its national strategic stockpiles around the Lunar New Year holidays that start on Feb. 1 as part...
Exclusive-China agrees with U.S. to release oil reserves near Lunar New Year - sources © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Carson/File Photo

By Nidhi Verma and Timothy Gardner

(Reuters) - China will release crude oil from its national strategic stockpiles around the Lunar New Year holidays that start on Feb. 1 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices, sources told Reuters.

The sources, who have knowledge of talks between the world's top two crude consumers, said China agreed in late 2021 to release an unspecified amount of oil depending on price levels.

"China agreed to release a relatively bigger amount if oil is above $85 a barrel, and a smaller volume if oil stays near the $75 level," said one source, without elaborating.

The release of crude stocks by China will occur around the Lunar New Year, the sources said. China will be closed for the biggest annual holiday from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6.

China's National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agreed release of reserves by China is the result of a series of discussions, reported by Reuters in November, that the Biden administration held with other major oil consumers after tight supplies drove global oil prices to multi-year highs..

Biden and top aides discussed the possibility of a coordinated release of crude stocks with close allies including Japan, South Korea and India, as well as with China.

The United States has conducted crude swaps and sales from its reserves over the past few weeks while Japan and South Korea have also announced plans for crude sales.

China, which has long kept details on its state reserves a secret, conducted last September its first-ever public crude reserves auction of about 7.4 million barrels, about half a day's consumption in the country.

In November, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said it was "working on" a release of crude reserves, but declined to comment on the U.S. request for the coordinated release among buyers.

Oil prices rebounded above $80 a barrel this week buoyed by supply disruptions in Libya and Kazakhstan, a fall in U.S. crude inventories to their lowest since 2018, and an improvement in the outlook for fuel demand in Europe as governments there ease COVID-19 restrictions. [O/R]

Benchmark Brent crude futures was at $84.79 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude at $82.23 a barrel at 0730 GMT.

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21-01-2022 03:42:23 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1336Neutral
 GBP/USD1.3568↑ Buy
 USD/JPY113.97↑ Buy
 AUD/USD0.7194↑ Buy
 USD/CAD1.2527Neutral
 EUR/JPY129.21↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF1.0363↑ Sell
 Gold1,832.75↑ Sell
 Silver24.378↑ Sell
 Copper4.5240↑ Sell
 Crude Oil WTI83.83Neutral
 Brent Oil86.80Sell
 Natural Gas3.931↑ Buy
 US Coffee C242.75↑ Sell
 Euro Stoxx 504,236.55Neutral
 S&P 5004,482.73↑ Sell
 DAX15,689.65Neutral
 FTSE 1007,503.83Neutral
 Hang Seng24,897.87Neutral
 Small Cap 20002,024.04↑ Sell
 IBEX 358,674.00Neutral
 BASF66.430↑ Sell
 Bayer51.76↑ Sell
 Allianz222.25Neutral
 Adidas254.55Neutral
 Lufthansa6.979↑ Sell
 Siemens AG145.74↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG11.533↑ Sell
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,120/ 6,160
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SJC HCM6,115/ 6,175
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(5/ 5) # 1,154
SJC Nhatrang6,115/ 6,177
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SJC Cantho6,115/ 6,177
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KRW16,3919,97
Cập nhật lúc 15:38:06 21/01/2022
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