Monday, 23 July, 2018

Oil stable on strong China data, but rising USA output caps gains

Oil rescued from price lows by Libyan supply disruption UPDATE 3-Oil stable on strong China data, but rising US output caps gains
Jodi Jackson | 15 March, 2018, 06:29

Inventories at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for USA futures, rose for the first time in 12 weeks.

"The current healthy momentum in the global economy, together with the efforts undertaken by the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries.is supporting the rebalancing of the oil market fundamentals", the report said. "The distillate number was very supportive, much bigger than anticipated and I think it reflects the cold weather and it also reflects that producers are having a hard time keeping up with the distillate demand globally". Nationwide stockpiles rose 5.02 MMbbl last week, their third consecutive increase.

Crude has struggled since hitting a three-year high in January. While a brighter economic outlook has underpinned demand expectations, expanding American production remains a challenge to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which are trying to prop up prices via output curbs.

US crude futures fell 0.8% to $60.23 a barrel, with Brent crude down 0.8% at $64.15. The spread between the first two contracts settled at minus 4 cents, the first time it closed at a discount since January 22.

Brent crude futures were at $64.70 per barrel, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent.

Rising output, as well as seasonally low demand, mean that US crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 9, to 428 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. The Permian Basin is seen leading the way with an 80,000-barrel increase.

"The ever-expanding US supply continues to pose significant downside risk to oil prices", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA.

The U.S. supply increase is expected to come as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, dominated by oil giant Saudi Arabia, works with Russian Federation to slash output after prices for crude plummeted to around $30 per barrel in 2016 from over $100 two years earlier.

"The average monthly increase (in shale output) in the eight months since September is 155,000 bpd".

Oil prices were little changed from before the data, after some volatility in the minutes after the release.

Oil prices rose after US President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, sparking a dollar fall and concern that a deal on Iran's nuclear programme could collapse.

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