– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 4, Thursday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
Oil prices jumped about 3 percent on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected gasoline inventory drawdown that offset a surprise build in crude stockpiles.
Oil markets are once again in the doldrums amid fears of a persistent oversupply and concerns over the slow drawdown in U.S. inventories, but oil experts say those concerns are overdone.
"We are at the start of the rebalancing, we haven't finished it yet, whereas the market almost priced in that everything was done but now it's gone almost the other way, saying that no rebalancing has been done whatsoever," Amrita Sen, the co-founder and chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told CNBC Wednesday.
Analysts expect prices to continue to be under pressure from rising supplies, high crude inventories and an uncertain demand outlook.
But Sen said that markets had overestimated how quickly the glut in oil supply could clear and were being impatient.
"It's not that the rebalancing isn't happening, of course it is happening, but we also have a huge amount of inventory overhang that needs to be run down …. a lot of people have been disappointed at the pace of inventory drawdown," she said.
Sen also noted that inventory data could be misleading because there was a lot of oil floating on water (oil held in floating storage at sea) that was being offloaded but was not being captured by official inventory weekly statistics, such as those put out by the U.S. Department of Energy's energy information administration.
"If anything," she added, "when oil on water is discharged on land, it makes the inventory on land look even bigger and I think this is where part of the problem lies."
Nonetheless, Sen said the rebalancing motion was "very much in motion."
"We are dropping supplies like a stone, non-OPEC supplies have fallen by over a million barrels per day over the last three to four months and it just takes time. The market always wants things very quickly," she added.
Markets have become somewhat obsessed with analyzing the figures for signs of a rebalancing in supply and demand.
Like Energy Aspect's Sen, Stephane Foucaud, managing director of institutional research at FirstEnergy Capital, told CNBC on Wednesday that the U.S. inventory levels were misleading.
These two analysts are not alone in believing that oil market sentiment is over-bearish with both Citi and Standard Chartered issuing reports stating that there was no justification for the recent oil price declines.
Meanwhile, low oil prices have sent China's oil imports soaring to record levels in recent months-the country now rivals the U.S. as the world's top importer-and the continuing price decline will keep those imports elevated, analysts say.
China's daily crude imports this year should come to 7.4 million barrels, said Song Yen Ling, an analyst with S&P Global Platts, up 10% from last year's 6.7 million.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.