Despite a huge draw in crude stockpiles according to US EIA data, both WTI and Brent crude oil sold off yesterday. Gasoline stocks rose higher than expectations, suggesting end-user demand for crude oil may be lower than expected. Crude stocks have been falling after a TransCanada pipeline was shut down for repairs following a spill. While the pipeline has been re-opened, it is currently operating below full capacity according to the company. Reuters is reporting that the pipeline's reduced capacity may be causing crude stockpiles to fall. In other data, US crude production has been rising close to its all-time record. The most recent figures show US crude production at 9.78m barrels per day. The all-time record was set in November 1970 when the US produced 10.04m barrels per day. Our medium-term outlook based on trending indicators remains bullish. We will downgrade our short-term indicator to neutral later today.
WTI is currently trading just above $56.60. Brent crude is currently above $62.70.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (December 13) showed falling crude oil stocks and rising gasoline inventories. Crude oil inventories were lower than estimates (-5.1m vs. -4m expected). Gasoline stocks were up (+5.6m vs. +2.3m expected) while distillate stocks (-1.4m vs. +1.2m expected) were lower. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices fell following the EIA report.
As crude oil rebounds on OPEC expectations, we are upgrading the commodity to bullish in the medium-term. Looking at various technical indicators on the weekly chart, note that both Brent and WTI are trading within a normal range.