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23 September 2017, 01:18 | Colleen Roy
Crude prices rise on signs of drop in global inventories
Crude oil prices turned lower on Thursday, as traders finally reacted to the previous session's downbeat USA stockpiles data and as markets were cautious ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Friday.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 5.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.6 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
New York- Oil prices rose on Wednesday in spite of a rise in USA crude inventories with the market heading for its largest 3rd quarter gain in 13 years after the Iraqi oil minister saidOPEC and its partners were considering extending or deepening output cuts.
OPEC, Russia and other top non-members agreed in May to extend their output deal to remove 1.8 million barrel of oil from the market daily.
November WTI crude oil futures settled at $50.73, up $0.83 or +1.66% and December Brent crude oil futures closed at $55.86, up $0.96 or +1.75%.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 703,000 barrels, EIA said.
Oil prices hit a four-month high on bullish data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), strong global and USA demand and the fact that oil products are at a multi-year low (see chart below).
"An improving macro-economic backdrop should spur oil demand growth over the next couple of quarters and if OPEC increases its adherence to production cuts, higher prices will come", ANZ Research said in a note, as carried by Reuters.
Despite that advance, the futures haven't closed above the key psychological barrier of $50 since late July as booming output from American shale fields countered output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. The International Energy Agency's (IEA's) upward revision of its global oil demand growth forecast, together with weakness in the U.S. dollar index, will support prices. Crude production increased for a second straight week, yet distillate supplies slid by 5.69 million barrels and gasoline stockpiles fell to 216.2 million barrels. "Stronger exports also affirmed returning operational strength in the USA refining hub".
Some cartel members-including less compliant nations like Iraq-have indicated in recent weeks that they would be open to extending the production cuts after the deal expires early next year, but analysts and investors don't expect a final decision until OPEC's next official gathering in November.
Rising U.S. production is "a reminder to the market that OPEC has a significant problem on its hands from the continued rise in shale output", Again Capital's Kilduff said.
Elsewhere, gasoline futures gained slipped 0.18% to $1.662 a gallon, while natural gas futures fwere steady at $3.123 per million British thermal units.
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