* Strong China data lends crude oil support
* Relentless growth in U.S. output still weighs
* U.S. crude inventories rose 1.2 mln bbls in latest week (Updates prices)
By Amanda Cooper
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday asstrong Chinese factory activity boosted commodity markets andChina’s own crude production fell, but fast-growing U.S. outputtempered gains.
China beat forecasts with a 7.2 percent year-on-year rise inindustrial output in the first two months of 2018, while datashowed Chinese crude output fell 1.9 percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nZZN0G9200
Brent crude LCOc1 rose 29 cents to $64.93 a barrel at 1156GMT, climbing from an earlier low of $64.43, while U.S. WestTexas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 rose 46 cents to $61.17.
ING commodities strategist Oliver Nugent said the Chineseindustrial output was “reinforcing that bullish narrative”across the commodities market, including oil.
China is the world’s largest importer of commodities.
Chinese oil production in January and February slipped toabout 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd), while the amount ofcrude processed by its refineries rose 7.3 percent to 93.4million bpd, suggesting strong import demand. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nENNI360SM
This offered modest support to the Brent price, which hasfallen by about 1 percent so far this week on concerns thatcoordinated supply cuts by OPEC and its partners might not beenough to offset the relentless rise in U.S. crude production.
U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA is expected to top 11million bpd later this year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N1QH2BK
Rising U.S. output, as well as seasonally low demand, meanU.S. crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the weekto March 9 to 428 million barrels, the American PetroleumInstitute said on Tuesday. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nZXN049100
Seasonal demand patterns for crude and refined products meanthe market may only be weeks away from a run of declines.
“We are now only two to four weeks away from when weekly oilinventory data will start to draw again which should besupportive for oil prices,” SEB commodities strategist BjarneSchieldrop said.
Weekly U.S. crude production figures will be published bythe Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday. EIA/S
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(Reporting by Henning GloysteinEditing by Tom Hogue and Susan Fenton) ((Henning.email@example.com; +65 6870 3263; Twitter:@hgloystein))