Oil prices drop amid surprise jump in US stockpiles

19 Julio, 2018, 05:09 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • Brent Oil Hits Three-Month Low Ahead of Stocks Data

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after news of a rise in US crude inventories last week, defying analysts' expectations for a big fall, while concerns about weak demand also resurfaced.

An oil tanker unloads crude oil at a crude oil terminal in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China July 4, 2018.

Intercontinental Exchange plans to launch later this quarter a crude oil futures contract of physically delivered Permian West Texas Intermediate (WTI), deliverable in Houston, as the city has become the pricing center for US oil as production and exports continue to grow. The contract hit a session low of $71.19 a barrel, its lowest since April 17.

"The Houston delivery point has become the pricing center for USA crude oil production and exports, and the new flat price futures contract is created to serve hedging and trading opportunities in this growing market", the exchange's statement reads.

US crude oil production last week hit 11 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in the nation's history, the Energy Department said on Wednesday, as the ongoing boom in shale production continues to drive output.

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Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after an industry group reported that United States crude inventories rose last week, defying analyst expectations for a significant reduction.

The U.S. oil market has been tight in recent months but data on Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed an unexpected a rise of more than 600,000 barrels in national crude inventories.

"The economic outlook is broadly positive, but a number of headwinds are emerging, not least a stronger dollar, rising inflationary pressures and tightening liquidity", BMI said.

On the demand-side, intensifying risks over trade tensions between the United States and China could drag on the global economic outlook, BMI Research said. "Slowing trade growth will weigh on physical demand for oil".

George called trade policy a "significant" downside risk to her outlook for economic growth, even as tax cuts and other fiscal policy is an upside risk.

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