Crude oil prices rose further today after the Energy Information Administration reported a 7.4-million-barrel draw/build in inventories for the week to June 11. In fuels, the authority reported mixed inventory changes.
Yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute estimated a crude oil inventory draw of 8.537 million barrels for the period, which sent prices even higher.
For the previous week, the EIA had reported an oil inventory draw of 5.2 million barrels, with gasoline inventories, however, adding 7 million barrels and middle distillate inventories rising by 4.4 million barrels, which pressured prices.
For last week, the EIA has estimated a gasoline stock build of 2 million barrels. Production averaged 9.9 million bpd, compared with 9.4 million bpd a week earlier.
In middle distillates, the EIA reported an inventory draw of 1 million barrels. Production of middle distillates averaged 5.1 million bpd last week, compared with 4.9 million bpd a week earlier.
Analysts had expected the EIA to report a crude oil stock draw of 3 million barrels for last week as demand for oil and fuels rebounds and driving season begins for millions of Americans who have been fully vaccinated.
However, the latest fuel inventory data and refinery run figures suggest refiners may be jumping the gun when it comes to demand recovery. The substantial inventory builds in both gasoline and middle distillates for the week before last weighed on oil prices. They also followed more weekly inventory builds despite the pickup in demand.
Despite the implications of the latest fuel data, benchmark prices are still on the climb after three straight weeks of gains as the supply-demand balance clearly shifts towards tighter supply coupled with stronger demand.
New York oil futures earlier this week hit the highest in 32 months, not least because of changed expectations about when Iranian crude would return legally to international markets but also tanks to the rising numbers of travelers in Europe and the United States.
At the time of writing, Brent crude was trading at $74.44 a barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $72.36 a barrel.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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