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Oil Inventories Soar Yet Again Despite Demand Rebound

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated on Tuesday another large crude oil inventory build, of 7.58 million barrels for the week ending May 8 even as several U.S. states begin the slow process of reopening certain segments of their battered economies.

Today’s inventory build was expected to be just 4.147 million barrels--less than half of the weekly inventory builds we’ve seen over the past few weeks, according to API data. The figures were, however, nearly double those expectations.

In the previous week, the API estimated a large build in crude oil inventories of 8.440 million barrels, while the EIA’s estimates were for a significantly smaller build of 4.6 million barrels for that week.

Oil prices were trading up on Tuesday afternoon prior to the API’s data release, as news of additional OPEC production cuts reinvigorated markets skittish about oversupply at a time when demand continues to lag.  

The United States, for its part, is seeing its own drop supply, from 13.1 million bpd at its height to 11.9 million bpd for May 1, according to the Energy Information Administration.

At 3:39 pm EDT on Tuesday the WTI benchmark was trading up on the day by $1.71 (+7.08%) at $25.85—$.15 down from this time last week. The price of a Brent barrel was also trading up on Tuesday, by $0.32 (+1.08%), at $29.95—down roughly $0.50 per barrel week on week.

The API reported a draw of 1.911 million barrels of gasoline for week ending May 8—less than last week’s 2.237-million-barrel draw. This week’s draw compares to analyst expectations for a more optimistic 2.216-million-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were up by 4.712 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 6.143-barrel build, while Cushing inventories saw a draw of 2.26 million barrels.

At 4:43 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $25.85 while Brent was trading at $29.95.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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