Oil prices on Tuesday morning continued to rise, following a week of gains, buoyed by moves by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to control power within the country and the turmoil between the kingdom and Iran. Saudi Arabia led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen, have said they see Iran as responsible for the Yemen conflict. Brent <LCOc1> was trading at $64.20 / bbl as of 9:00 AM UKT, trading higher than the previous settle. Meanwhile, WTI <CLc1> posted gains from the previous settle, standing at $57.40/bbl at the same time.
A preliminary Reuters poll estimated that US crude inventories likely fell by 2.8 mmbbl in the week ending November 3rd. Gasoline stocks are estimated to have fallen by 2.2 mmbbl last week. Meanwhile distillate stocks were forecast to have fallen by 2.2 mmbbl. Refinery utilisation is expected to be unchanged from 88.1% of total capacity seen in the week prior, according to the poll.
Thomson Reuters Oil Research assessed crude oil exports from the Arab Gulf dropped by 121.62 million bbls last week, a w-o-w decline of 4.2 million bbls. Cumulative exports from the Middle-East OPEc members dropped by 420,000 bpd in October compared to September, with the UAE posting the largest drop of 310,000 bpd, which was partly offset by increased Saudi loadings. With Q4 being the peak season for oil tanker freights historically, there seems to be a lot more resistance this year primarily due to increased tonnage available for parcels to be shipped. Charterers have the option to choose older tonnage at a discount, resulting in the early flattening of the freight curve compared to steep increases seen last year. Current Middle-East freights to Asia stand only 13.5% up from the start of Q4 compared to an increase of 60% for the same time last year.
The Oil Research Team
Supply Chain & Commodities Research