Oil slips as U.S. posts surprise rise in crude inventories.
Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday as government data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories and as tensions escalated between the United States and China.
Brent crude futures settled down 3 cents at $44.29 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled down 2 cents at $41.90 a barrel.
U.S. crude and distillate inventories rose unexpectedly and fuel demand slipped in the most recent week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, as the sharp outbreak in coronavirus cases has started to hit U.S. consumption.
Crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels in the week to July 17 to 536.6 million barrels, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.1 million-barrel drop. Production rose to 11.1 million barrels per day, up by 100,000 barrels per day.
“Overall, this would suggest that the demand recovery we’ve seen from the bottom seems to be stalling,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures group in Chicago.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the outbreak would probably worsen before it got better, a shift from his previously robust emphasis on reopening the economy.
Bjornar Tonhaugen, Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, said Trump’s comments might be welcomed by investors because they are among the most measured by him or his administration so far.
“This could be a positive for oil demand prospects. Instead of an uncontrolled, disruptive second wave of lockdowns, maybe chances have now increased that the United States will eventually get the spread under control,” Tonhaugen said.
However, a fresh dispute between Washington and Beijing put pressure on prices after the United States told the Chinese consulate in Houston to shut and a source said China was considering closing the U.S. consulate in Wuhan.
Adding to pressure were signs that Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was still not meeting its target under an OPEC-led pact to cut supplies.
Oil ticks up, but gains capped by demand destruction.
Oil prices ticked higher on Thursday, although gains were limited by a surprise increase in U.S. crude oil reserves as the coronavirus pandemic hit fuel consumption.
U.S. crude and distillate inventories rose unexpectedly and fuel demand slipped in the most recent week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, as a sharp rise in coronavirus cases has started to hit U.S. consumption.
Brent crude LCOc1 added 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $44.31 a barrel by 0207 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 gained 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.96 a barrel. Prices have been marking time since hitting a four-month high earlier in the week on hopeful news about a coronavirus vaccine.
“Normally inventories of fuel would be heavily drawn upon, but the surge in COVID-19 case numbers has stymied the recovery,” ANZ said, referring to usual demand during the peak U.S. summer driving season.
President Donald Trump said the outbreak would probably worsen before it got better, a shift from his previously robust emphasis on reopening the economy.
A fresh dispute between Washington and Beijing put further pressure on prices.
Oil Future close 22nd July, 2020
Brent crude: $ 44.29 (-0.03)/brl FM delivery Sep
Light crude (WTI): $ 41.90 (-0.02) /brl FM delivery Sep
Gasoil ARA; $ 379.25 (-7.50) /mton FM delivery Aug
NY Harbor Ulsd: $ 391.20 (-2.86) /mton FM delivery Aug
Oil Futures trading upward at GMT 05.42; Brent: $+0.10, WTI: $+0.16.
Last night the crude oil prices closed more or less unchanged, which means the fuel oil prices for 380 HS and VLSFO will change very little today, zero.
Meanwhile the MGO down 7-8 usd and NY Harbor Ulsd down 3 usd/mton.
Remember, always start to predict today’s bunker price in accordance to Oil Future close differentials the day before. – Don’t create bunker prices from present fresh Oil Futures, which are too new and live and changing values every split second. Use the fresh live Oil Future prices only as a guidance for what we can expect forward.