Oil futures moved modestly in both directions on Wednesday, with prices remaining above the $ 40 a barrel mark as traders analyzed US government data that saw a surprising weekly surge in crude oil stocks and an unexpectedly sharp drop in gasoline stocks showed.
"An increase in net imports above 5 million barrels a day for the first time since last August has led to a solid increase in oil stocks, although refining has risen to a 14-week high of 14.3 million barrels a day," said Matt Smith. said MarketWatch, Director of Commodity Research at ClipperData.
"Compensating for this declining build has been the biggest drain on gasoline stocks since early March as implied demand is gradually recovering," he said.
The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that US crude stocks rose 5.7 million barrels during the week of July 3rd. This followed a decrease of 7.2 million barrels the previous week and compared to a forecast by analysts interviewed by S&P Global Platts for an average decline of 3.7 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute reported an increase of around 2 million barrels on Tuesday.
Gasoline supplies declined by 4.8 million barrels, while distillate supplies rose by 3.1 million barrels. The S&P Global Platts survey had anticipated a drop in supply of 1.2 million barrels for gasoline and 500,000 barrels for distillates.
On Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil for August
rose 5 cents or 0.1% to $ 40.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after ending virtually unchanged on Tuesday.
Global Brent oil benchmark for September
6 cents, or 0.1%, at $ 43.02 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, after a decline of less than 0.1% in the previous session.
The weekly decline in US gasoline deliveries is due to the implied average demand of 8.5 million barrels per day over four weeks through July 3, a decrease of 12.5% year over year. This is an improvement over the previous report, where implied demand fell 15% after four weeks.
On the Nymex Wednesday, August gasoline
rose nearly 0.7% to $ 1.2833 per gallon, but August heating oil
fell 0.5% to $ 1.2367 per gallon.
August natural gas
was down 1.4% to $ 1.85 per million British thermal units before the EIA released Thursday's weekly fuel update.
Wednesday's EIA data also showed that crude oil stocks at the Cushing, Okla. Warehouse increased by around 2.2 million barrels during the week, while total oil production remained unchanged at 11 million barrels per day.
In a separate monthly report released on Tuesday, the EIA lifted its 2020 and 2021 forecasts for Brent and WTI oil and US crude oil production.