Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Oil Holds Losses Below $45 on Surprise US Gasoline Supply Gain

Laurie Berry | 20 June, 2017, 02:24

Oil prices plunged almost 4% on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that crude oil inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels in the week ended June 9, disappointing expectations for a decline of around 2.8 million barrels. Motor-fuel stockpiles expanded by 2.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration reported.

"Our first outlook for 2018 makes sobering reading for those producers looking to restrain supply", the IEA said in its monthly oil market report. "Implied crude production seems to have moved upwards at a rather rapid pace, US gasoline demand has taken a turn to the downside just as the summer driving season starts and total USA oil stocks have not drawn for two weeks".

West Texas Intermediate for July delivery was at $44.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 3 cents, at 10:01 a.m. London time.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to extend that deal that began in January through March 2018, but ongoing growth in US production, along with exemptions for non-members Nigeria and Libya, have offset those cuts to some extent. This has happened despite of OPEC-led production cuts to support the crude market.

'Sombre' Britain prepares for historic Brexit talks
Dr Fox is meeting a congressional delegation on Capitol Hill in an attempt to pave the way for a UK/US Free Trade agreement. That may tear the Conservative Party apart, as the hard-line Brexiters in the party will fight against it tooth and nail.

On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said stored oil in industrialized nations - a proxy for global supply - rose by 18.6 million barrels in April.

Top producer Russian Federation, not an OPEC member but which signed up to the deal to cut output, is expected to export 61.2 million tonnes of oil via pipelines in the third quarter, equivalent to about 5 million bpd, against 60.5 million tonnes in the second quarter, according to industry sources and Reuters calculations. Demand hasn't been strong either, so "it's hard to come up with a real bullish scenario". Total volume traded was about 14 per cent above the 100-day average. The contract lost $0.27 to $44.46 on Thursday, the lowest since November 14. Analysts had forecast a 700,000 barrel decline in gasoline inventories and a 600,000 barrel rise in distillates.

Global oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its decline on Wednesday as it fell to a seven-month low after data showed an unexpectedly large weekly build in United States' petrol inventories. But adherence to the cuts is under scrutiny and the producer group said this week its output rose by 336,000 bpd in May to 32.14 million bpd.

"There continues to be concerns about oversupply in 2018", Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said by telephone.

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