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Large Builds In Product Inventories Force WTI Crude Prices Lower

Crude oil inventories in the United fell this week by 1.710 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) data showed on Tuesday, with analysts expecting a 1.5 million barrel increase.

The total number of barrels of crude oil gained so far this year is more than 38 million barrels.

This week, SPR inventory dropped for the tenth week in a row as another 1.8 million barrels of congressionally mandated crude oil was sold during the week ending June 2. There are now 353.6 million barrels—the lowest amount of crude oil in the SPR since September 1983.

U.S. crude oil production fell during the week ending May 26, to 12.2 million bpd. U.S. production is now 900,000 bpd lower than the peak production seen in March 2020, and just 300,000 bpd higher than this time last year.

The price of WTI and Brent were both trading down on Tuesday in the run-up to the data release, despite Saudi Arabia’s surprise announcement on Sunday that it would take an additional 1 million bpd off its production quota for the month of July. The oil product builds will do little to bolster the effect of Saudi Arabia’s surprise cut, designed in part to punish short sellers.

By 2:52 p.m. EST, WTI was trading down $0.46 (-0.64%) on the day at $71.69 per barrel, but up nearly $4 per barrel week over week. Brent crude was trading down $0.49 (-0.64%) on the day at $76.22—up roughly $3.50 per barrel from this time last week.

WTI was trading at $71.46 shortly after the data release.

Gasoline inventories rose 2.417 million barrels after increasing in the week prior by 1.891 million barrels. Distillate inventories rose 4.50 million barrels after increasing by 1.849 barrels in the week prior, but are still significantly below the five-year average for this time of year.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 1.535 million barrels—after rising by 1.777 million barrels last week.

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By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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