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Bearish Sentiment Returns To Oil Markets

Crude prices dropped by the largest amount since July this week, decreasing by an average of 4-5% week-on-week despite a moderate rebound on Friday as the IEA alleviated concerns that the market will not be able to compensate for disappearing Iranian volumes. WTI traded around 72 per barrel on Friday, whilst Brent looked set to end the week at around 81 per barrel.

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Both OPEC and the IEA have reported that the oil market is well supplied, with the latter even lowering its global oil demand growth estimate for 2018 and 2019 by about 110 000 bpd to 1.3 mbpd and 1.4 mbpd respectively. This, combined with a massive US stock sell-off and growing concerns that trade disputes will adversely impact oil have weighed on oil prices this week.

1. US Crude Stocks Keep on Rolling

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- US commercial crude stocks increased 6 million barrels w-o-w amid a palpable decline in refinery throughputs, bringing total inventories to 410 million barrels.
- Refinery runs fell 352 kbpd last week to 16.2 Mbpd, with the aggregate throughput decline reaching 1.6 Mbpd over the past four weeks.
- Attesting to the highly volatile export volumes, reflecting the uneven loading schedules, exports jumped by 850 kbpd w-o-w to 2.6 mbpd, with net imports falling below 5 Mbpd for the first time since 2000.
- The impact of Tropical Storm Michael will significantly alter next week’s EIA weekly status.
- As…

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