Futures in New York were little changed after falling on Wednesday for the first time in seven sessions amid rising U.S. output. While output curbs by nations including Saudi Arabia and Russia have bought markets “very close to balance,” stockpiles still climbed because of supply increases before a six-month deal between the producers took effect Jan. 1, the IEA said in its monthly report.
Oil had rallied above $53 a barrel after some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries voiced support for prolonging production cuts with other nations past June. While U.S. crude stockpiles declined from a record last week, OPEC said in a report Wednesday that rivals in the American shale industry are growing stronger.
“The signs are that OPEC has delivered on the output cuts and while they continue to do so, that’ll put a floor under oil prices,” said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Rising U.S. production is clearly adding pressure.”
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery fell 1 cent to $53.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:21 a.m. London time. Total volume traded was about 50 percent above the 100-day average. Prices fell 29 cents to close at $53.11 on Wednesday, the first decline since April 3.
Brent for June settlement rose 3 cents to $55.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices lost 37 cents to $55.86 Wednesday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.38 to June WTI.
Oil inventories in the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development increased by 38.5 million barrels in the first quarter to about 3 billion barrels, offsetting the decline in emerging economies, according to the IEA. The agency trimmed forecasts for global demand by about 100,000 barrels a day to 1.3 million a day.
U.S. crude output rose by 36,000 barrels a day last week to 9.24 million barrels a day, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday. That’s the highest since January 2016. Stockpiles dropped from the highest since the EIA began tracking the data in 1982 — the second decline this year.
- China’s crude imports in March surged to a record, making it the world’s biggest overseas buyer. Inbound shipments climbed to 9.21 million barrels a day, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the General Administration of Customs.
- OPEC members Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are putting pressure on a decision to extend curbs by pumping more than they agreed under the pact, while others such as Saudi Arabia produce within their quotas.
- Libya’s Wafa oil field resumed output two weeks after closing, allowing the OPEC member to lift force majeure at pipelines connected to one of its export terminals.
- Russia’s pact with OPEC to cut oil production hasn’t delivered the price gain the country expected, but it did boost February government revenue to levels not seen in almost two years.