Crude prices down on higher gasoline, distillate stockpiles
After early gains on Wednesday, crude oil prices were lower again after the US Energy Information Administration’s weekly inventories report showed that crude oil stockpiles were lower but not down nearly as much as had been expected, while gasoline inventories were up substantially more than had been forecast. Distillates inventories were also higher.
Crude oil inventories were down by 100,000 barrels in the week ending September 22. They were expected to be down by 1.7 million barrels. Much of the lower decline was due to imports of oil that averaged 11.1 million barrels per day, the third highest average in history. The new inventories figures are seen by some analysts as strengthening the case of OPEC members who want the oil cartel to reduce production. However, the organization will not likely meet before the end of October, when the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends.
Gasoline inventories were up by 6.3 million barrels last week, when an increase of only half a million barrels had been expected. Stockpiles of distillates, which include heating oil, were up by an expected 2.6 million barrels.
Brent crude for November delivery dropped 30 cents to $59.82 per barrel in London. West Texas Intermediate crude November contracts were up to $61.65 per barrel before the EIA released the latest numbers, but after the report WTI declined to 48 cents below Tuesday’s close to trade at $60.53 per barrel. Nymex October heating oil sat unchanged at $1.6590 per gallon.