Oil prices backtracked yesterday, coming off two-year highs, as EIA inventory data fell short compared to data published by an industry body on Tuesday. Benchmarks remain under pressure Thursday morning as the recent rally may have sparked some profit-taking. At 08.45 AM GMT Brent crude was trading at $60.22/bbl, 0.45% down from yesterday’s settle, while at the same time WTI had lost 0.35% to trade at $54.11/bbl.
EIA data showed that crude inventories in the US dropped 2.44 million bbls, more than the 1.76 million bbls analysts expected earlier in the week, but almost half compared to the 5 million bbls withdraw an industry body suggested on Tuesday. Inventory withdraws in the US continue despite the ramp up in refinery throughput.
Gasoline stockpiles declined by 4 million bbls, sharply outpacing the expected 1.5 million bbls, according to a Reuters poll. Conversely, distillates only declined by 320,000 bbls, versus an expected 2.13 million bbls decline.
Refinery input stood at 16.02 million bpd, while exports of crude oil were reported at a new record level of 2.13 million bpd. Thomson Reuters Oil Research analysis suggests that a significant volume of US exports consists of condensate crude oil. Refinery input and exports lift the implied demand for crude at 18.15 million bpd.
Crude oil imports were seen down by 552,000 bpd, at 7.57 million bpd, while production rose to 9.55 million bpd, up by 46,000 bpd w-o-w. Imports and domestic production brought supplies at 17.124 million bpd.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research