Crude oil futures were lower during mid-morning trade in Asia Wednesday, amid a build reported in US crude stocks last week while demand and supply concerns continued to exert downward pressure. At 10:35 am Singapore time (0235 GMT), ICE Brent August futures were down 86 cents/b (1.38%) from Tuesday’s settle at $61.43/b, while the NYMEX July light sweet crude futures contract lost 85 cents/b (1.60%) at $52.42/b.
According to analyst reports quoting data released Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, US crude stocks for the week ended June 7 were up by 4.85 million barrels. “Crude oil futures edged lower … as the American Petroleum Institute reported a surprise build in US stockpile levels,” Benjamin Lu, investment analyst at Phillip Futures, said.
Analysts surveyed Monday by S&P Global Platts were looking for US crude stocks for the same period to have increased by 80,000 barrels.
The API report was mixed for refined products — a US gasoline stock build of 830,000 barrels and a distillate stock draw of 3.5 million barrels, analysts said. API also reported a stock build of 2.37 million barrels at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the NYMEX crude contract. The more definitive US inventory data is due for release from the US Energy Information Administration later Wednesday.
“Looks like API is trying to get in line with EIA. Cushing builds are wild! Yet distillate draw is huge!” Price Futures Group senior market analyst Phil Flynn said. Elsewhere, the US EIA on Tuesday cut its outlook for 2019 oil prices by $3.50/b for WTI and $2.95/b for Brent in response to rising uncertainty about global oil demand growth. “Demand-side concerns became the most salient issue during the past month and contributed to volatility and price declines for risk assets such as commodities and equities,” EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook.