According to the Energy Information Administration, US crude stocks rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week ending February 3. This marks the sixth consecutive week of increases and surpasses estimates of a 2 million barrels buildup.The EIA report showed that US crude oil inventories as of February 3 were +4.0% above the seasonal 5-year average, gasoline inventories were -5.3% below the seasonal 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -15.0% below the 5-year seasonal average. U.S. crude oil production in the week ended February 3 rose +0.8% w/w to a 2-3/4 year high of 12.3 million bpd.
Oil prices continued to move higher on Monday despite the EIA weekly inventory numbers showing that US oil and product inventories increased over the last week. Crude oil inventories grew by 2.42MMbbls, taking total US commercial inventories to a little more than 455MMbbls – a level last seen in June 2021. Similarly, crude oil inventories at Cushing increased by 1.04MMbbls, leaving stocks at the WTI delivery hub at their highest level since July 2021.
Due to fears that an increase in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve would dampen economic activity and thus decrease demand for oil, the Fed has been raising rates in an attempt to contain inflation. The worries about supply were somewhat alleviated by the restart of Azerbaijani oil exports from Turkey's Ceyhan port on Sunday.
Goldman Sachs has reported that as China's economy reopens, oil demand is increasing, which is a favourable indication for crude prices. According to Goldman, China's oil demand increased from 14.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in late November to 15.5 million bpd in mid-January. Goldman predicts that Chinese consumption of crude will climb by +1.0 million bpd in Q4 of 2023, potentially driving Brent oil prices up by roughly US$15 per barrel.
Overall, the EIA weekly inventory report was bearish for crude and its products. The Energy Information Administration reported a crude inventory increase of 2.42 million barrels, reaching a 1-1/2 year high, surpassing the expected 2.0 million barrel build. In addition, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 5 million barrel increase in gasoline supplies, reaching a 9 and a half month high, greater than what was predicted at 1.6 million barrels.
0. “Oil prices decline on US supply concerns” Economies.com, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.economies.com/commodities/oil-news/oil-prices-decline-on-us-supply-concerns-42375
1. “Oil Retreats On EIA Inventory Data” OilPrice.com, 8 Feb. 2023, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Oil-Retreats-On-EIA-Inventory-Data.html
2. “Crude Prices Underpinned by Signs of Stronger Chinese Energy Demand” Barchart, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.barchart.com/story/news/14023303/crude-prices-underpinned-by-signs-of-stronger-chinese-energy-demand
3. “The Commodities Feed: US oil and product stocks grow” ING Think, 9 Feb. 2023, https://think.ing.com/articles/the-commodities-feed-us-oil-and-product-stocks-grow090223/
4. “Oil falls on demand fears as Fed ‘make or break moment' approaches” CNA, 13 Feb. 2023, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/business/oil-falls-demand-fears-fed-make-or-break-moment-approaches-3273651