Oil spot price: US crude oil stockpiles rise for first time in 7 weeks

on Jan 24, 2014
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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_iNVEZZ.com: Friday, January 24th:_

**Crude oil**
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude initially today rose to test yesterday’s high of $97.81 a barrel which was reached after The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that distillate inventories fell last week. However, WTI retraced in the last couple of hours and is currently at $96.70, though still heading for its largest weekly gain since last month. Yesterday’s closing price of $97.32 is the highest close thus far in the year.

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Distillate inventories, including diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.21 million barrels. Analysts had expected a decline of 500,000 barrels. The refinery utilization rate dropped to 86.5 percent of capacity, hitting its lowest level since October, the EIA said.
Price Futures Group senior market analyst Phil Flynn today said that “a big drop in distillate and refiner runs shows that the weather had more impact on production and demand” than expected.

US crude oil inventories rose by 990,000 barrels to 351.2 million, ending a seven-week streak of declines, said the EIA. Analysts’ forecasts were for a rise of 1.15 million.
Gasoline inventories jumped by 2.12 million barrels to 235.3 million last week, more than the expected 1.75 million.
The price of ultra-low-sulphur diesel surged in New York yesterday as a winter storm across the northeast U.S. boosted demand for heating fuel. Futures for February delivery advanced 3.86 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.0765 a gallon, the highest settlement since Dec. 31. The contract was at $3.0856 today.

Astmax Investment commodities fund manager Tetsu Emori said that WTI “is drawing support from the fall in heating oil stocks as a result of the severe winter”. He added: “It may be helping Brent as European refiners export heating oil to the United States, to the East Coast.”
According to a Bloomberg survey of analysts and traders, the US benchmark may fall next week amid speculation that US crude oil inventories will gain. From 36 respondents, 17 or 47 percent, predict prices will drop through the end of this month, 11 foresee a rise and eight believe prices will be little changed.

Brent crude today fell below $107 a barrel and is currently at $106.40. Brent, poised for its largest weekly rise in five weeks, climbed initially today as European refiners send diesel to the world’s biggest oil consumer, the US.
Asian, European and Russian refiners are shipping around half a million tonnes of heating oil and diesel to the US this month, with at least a dozen tankers booked so far this month to ship the fuel to the US East Coast, according to traders and shipping data.
**Natural gas**
The EIA yesterday reported that Natural Gas Inventories fell by 107 billion cubic feet last week, while analysts had been expecting a 112 billion decline.
Following the release, the price of natural gas dropped from $4.8 to $4.6 per 1,000 cubic feet, but subsequently, rebounded.
The uptick continues today and at the moment the price is at $4.9.

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