Lockdowns in China and thousands of flight cancellations have done nothing to dent buying demand in crude oil since late December. Now crude is threatening last year's high of $85.41 per barrel.

It rose as high as $84.22 today and settled up $1.70 to $83.82. It's been on a one-way run since hitting a low of $66 in late December.

oil daily

The next step for oil will be a tough one. A report today highlighted that China had agreed to release strategic oil reserves in different levels around Feb 1 depending on whether crude was at $75 or $85. With brent at $86 and also mere cents away from the October high, the odds of more action rise.

At the same time, SPR releases are small amounts of oil overall. What we're seeing in jet fuel demand destruction and less driving should far outweight that -- yet it isn't. We've had back-to-back huge builds in US gasoline supplies and the market has powered right through it. The buying is relentless.