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Vandana Hari

July 27, 2017

Crude cools off early Thursday after 3-day rally on US stock-draw ' Vandana Hari

  • Crude futures were marginally lower early Thursday in Asia, likely done with incorporating news of a substantial decline in weekly US crude inventories, confirmed by the official Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday.
  • The EIA reported a drop of 7.21 million barrels in US crude stocks for the week ended July 21, providing a fresh fillip to crude prices, which had rallied a day ago after the industry body American Petroleum Institute reported a whopping 10.23 million barrels of decline in crude inventories for the same week.
  • A draw of just over 1 million barrels in gasoline inventories and a 229,000 b/d jump in average US gasoline consumption to 9.82 million b/d reported by the EIA added to the bullish turn in market sentiment.
  • Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had projected a draw of 2.5 million barrels in crude stocks on the back of declining imports, especially from Saudi Arabia, and a draw of 1.25 million barrels in gasoline inventories.
  • US crude production eased by 19,000 b/d from the week to July 14 ' the fourth weekly drop in three months. Viewed in conjunction with a slowdown in the addition of new oil rigs in the US in recent weeks, which has corresponded with crude's relentless slump since early June, the latest output data will likely prompt a revisit of previous assumptions on the shale sector's resilience in the face of WTI languishing around mid-$40s.
  • Other developments that are helping loosen the bearish grip of recent weeks on the oil markets include:
    • Saudi Arabia's intention to cut its August crude exports to 6.6 million b/d, about 300,000 b/d lower than May and 1 million b/d below the peak of 2016
    • An escalation of the political crisis in OPEC member Venezuela, which has come under fresh sanctions from the US
    • The US House of Representatives agreeing new sanctions against OPEC member Iran. Iran's crude production and exports dropped by around 1 million b/d under fresh US and UN sanctions on Iran over 2010-2015.

Data In Sight

Vandana Hari

Founder, Vanda Insights
Singapore

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