Monday, 22 October, 2018

Global oil demand picks up but still lags rising supply

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York City U.S
Orlando Vargas | 15 March, 2018, 12:50

Data from China showed falling domestic production between January and February (down 1.9% to 3.77 million bpd), while crude throughput rose 7.3 percent.

Refinery crude runs rose by 432,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed.

Brent crude LCOc1 was last up 27 cents at $64.92 a barrel, off an earlier low of $64.43, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 were up 31 cents at $61.02 a barrel.

The deal has helped boost oil prices, which topped $71 a barrel this year for the first time since 2014 and were near $65 on Wednesday. This week, the API reported a draw of 1.262 million in gasoline stockpiles, largely in line with the 1.176-million-barrel draw that analysts had expected.

"Crude oil prices were dragged up by product prices on the back of significant declines" in fuel inventories, said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. Diesel futures rose 1.32 cents, or 0.7%, to $1.8871 a gallon.

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"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 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday that oil consumption was expected to grow by 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018. The reshuffle has big implications for both Iran as well as USA policy toward crude producer Venezuela, which is positive for prices, RBC chief commodities strategist Helima Croft told Bloomberg. The uptick is expected to be driven by robust demand in industrialized nations, including Europe, the US and Japan, the agency said.

And even with the OPEC report showing a 12 percent increase in oil production in the U.S., the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly drilling report on Tuesday that total American output has passed 10 million bpd, beating a record set in 1970. But the group said total global oil supply rose last month, in a sign that USA shale production is undermining Saudi efforts to rebalance the market. It has already surpassed top exporter Saudi Arabia, and by 2019 is expected to surpass top producer Russian Federation, which pumps out almost 11 million bpd.

Oil futures for April delivery have slipped below the May contract in recent days, which could be a bearish signal that discourages more investment.

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