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API shows fall in United States crude-oil inventories

08 April 2018

Buyers initially supported the markets because the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise draw of 3.28 million barrels of US crude oil inventories for the week-ending March 30, after analysts had anticipated a modest build in crude oil inventories of 246,000. "Markets from equities to oil now seem to quickly brush off and recover as the trade dispute between the USA and China continues".

Futures were little changed in NY.

The global benchmark crude traded at a US$4.70 premium to June WTI.

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Nymex May oil futures ended USD1.48 lower at USD63.54 a barrel, down 2.3%.

China today confirmed a 25 per cent levy on $50bn (£36bn) worth of US goods, including vehicles and agricultural products like soybeans, in response to US President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on on Chinese goods.

Oil prices rose on Thursday, holding onto a late-session rally the previous day, buoyed by the USA government data showing a surprise drawdown in crude stockpiles. The country's crude production rose in March despite the output deal, to 10.97 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.95 million bpd in February, Russian Energy Ministry data showed, keeping Russia ahead of the United States as the world's biggest crude producer. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for May delivery was down 4c at $63.33 a barrel. Prices slipped 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $68.02 Wednesday.

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Soybeans are largely considered one of China's biggest weapons in the trade war, offering a way to harm the US economy and hurt President Trump politically, since many farming states backed Trump in his presidential election. Output from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped to the lowest in a year in March.

"Oil prices are profiting from the general brightening of sentiment on the markets as signs emerge that the trade dispute is easing between the USA and China", analysts at Commerzbank said in a note. Gasoline stocks dropped by 1.1 million barrels, just under analysts' expectations for a drop of 1.1 million barrels.

The cuts run until the end of 2018 but Saudi Arabia has said they could be extended in some form into 2019.

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API shows fall in United States crude-oil inventories