Crude oil prices are trading lower today after a sharp fall yesterday. While the build in crude stocks was lower than estimates (resulting in higher prices immediately following the news), the commodity sold off shortly thereafter. For now, fears of surging US supply are a bigger factor for crude oil traders relative to inventories. US production rose by 0.8% last week to 10.37m barrels per day. Beyond US supply, the prospect of slowing growth is also likely to weigh on crude oil prices. As we wrote in our euro daily update earlier today, recent data from the world's largest crude oil importer suggests slowing future growth. Beyond the Eurozone, data from Japan and China (significant importers of crude oil) also suggests slowing growth. As crude oil supply surges while future demand growth may weaken, the longer-term outlook for crude oil is looking less benign. Our short-term outlook is neutral, while our medium-term outlook on crude remains bullish.
WTI is currently trading above $61.10. Brent crude is currently above $64.30.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (March 7) showed rising crude oil stocks and falling gasoline inventories. Crude oil inventories were lower than estimates (+2.4m vs. +3.0m expected). Gasoline stocks were down (-0.8m vs. -1.7m expected) while distillate stocks (-0.6m vs. -1.0m expected) were down. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices fell following the EIA report.