Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Crude Oil Price Stumbles on Big Additions to Oil, Refined Products Stockpiles

Crude Oil Price Stumbles on Big Additions to Oil, Refined Products Stockpiles

USA crude oil futures were down $1.35 a barrel, or 2.1 percent, as of 11:05 a.m. EST (1605 GMT) to $61.96 a barrel.

According to EIA data, U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.895 million barrels to 420.254 million barrels for the week ended February 2.

"The U.S. now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas", the Daily Mail informed.

In December, 2017, China, India, Japan and South Korea imported a total of 1.550,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran. Exports of refined products fell by 449,000 barrels a day last week to 4.44 million.

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USA crude exports have surged since the lifting of a decades-old ban in late 2015, helping support prices despite the rise in production. Gasoline inventories dropped by 227,000 barrels and distillate stockpiles jumped by about 4.55 million barrels.

The rise in US 10-year government bond yields to their highest in four years this week has put the dollar on track for its biggest weekly rise since November 2016, making it more profitable for non-U.S. investors to sell dollar-denominated assets such as oil.

"The market is strongly reacting to the higher-than-expected surge in US oil production, which has depressed investor sentiment", Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc., said by phone from Seoul.

"With US [equity] markets holding in negative territory and jitters sustaining, there may be little to inspire Asian markets to stage a recovery today [Thursday]".

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In November, oil production surpassed 10 million bpd for the first time since 1970, and neared the all-time output record. "If we can get a bounce off that area, that would suggest to us we have the possibility to work higher, but it would suggest the sideways consolidation period could continue", said Brian LaRose, technical analyst at United-ICA. On Tuesday, U.S. stocks rebounded to post the biggest rally in 15 months.

Also impacting crude oil rates is the impending refinery maintenance season in many markets, during which refineries temporarily suspended operations, depressing demand for crude oil. On the longer-term, towards the end of 2018, Lennox forecasts that NYMEX will range between $70/b and $80/b, while ICE Brent will range between $74/b and $84/b.

The dollar index, which measures the performance of USA dollars against a basket of six major currencies, remains at 90.21 points.

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