SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Oil remained lower in Asian trade Thursday despite a positive Chinese data which shows increase in overall exports of the country.

Light sweet crude for July was seen trading at $74.23 a barrel at 12.00 noon Singapore time while Brent crude was at $ 74.01 a barrel in London.

Analysts said an official data showing Chinese overall exports surged in May offset weaker demand readings in top consumer the United States.

China's General Administration of Customs on Thursday said country's exports rose 48.5 percent in May from a year earlier, beating forecasts of a 32 percent gain.

Prices of U.S. crude have recovered almost $10 from below $65 on May 20, but are still down 15 percent from a 19-month peak on May 3.

U.S. crude inventories last week dropped a larger than expected 1.8 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, prices made strong gains as declining US stockpiles lifted the economic recovery outlook.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, rose $2.39 to settle at $74.38 a barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for July gained $1.97 to settle at $74.27.