The latest American Petroleum Institute (API) weekly inventory data recorded an unexpected build of 2.35mn barrels compared with an expected draw of around 2.9mn and followed the 5.1mn draw recorded last week. The unexpected build put some downward pressure on crude, although sizeable draws in other elements lessened the impact with prices resilient at lower levels.
Cushing stocks fell by 1.03mn barrels, which was higher than the Genscape estimate that inventories at Cushing had fallen close to 690,000 barrels in the latest week. There was a sizeable draw in gasoline stocks of 1.48mn barrels, while distillates recorded a 1.15mn draw. Gasoline demand has remained strong over the past few weeks with prices, despite a rise to 2016 highs, still comfortably below the levels seen last year.
Oil prices were subjected to choppy trading conditions on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna. Prices initially fell sharply on another failure to move above the $50 p/b level and over-supply fears with lows below $48.0.
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