Economy

Crude oil prices likely to see some uptick in near term

Crude oil prices likely to see some uptick in near term

The climbing prices were a result of strong demand as well as signs that relentless growth in USA oil production was slowing. Exports of refined oil products in May fell to 1.279 million bpd, from 1.455 million bpd the month before, the data showed.

OPEC and other producers agreed to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels a day up to March next year.

Meanwhile, JODI did not provide any data on the Russian oil export in May.

Citigroup Inc. cut its oil-price forecasts for this year and next as Opec members Nigeria and Libya restore previously halted supplies and American output climbs.

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Oil prices gained last week as the dollar weakened and global demand forecasts were revised higher by the IEA. So, a contraction in the inventories spread was followed by gains in oil prices.

Saudi crude stocks display a strong element of seasonality owing to refinery maintenance schedules and increased crude consumption for electricity generation during the hot summer months. Nigeria and Libya raised output and thus OPEC output remained high despite its pledge to cut the production.

At 1:24pm EST, WTI was trading up.11% at $46.07-about $1.00 over this time last week.

"Traders are also weighing the possibility that these drawdown [in oil and gasoline stocks] will soon come to an abrupt end once refinery activity dries up in late summer for planned repairs and USA production likely climbs into autumn", Craig added.

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"The slowing pace of increases combined with massive drawdowns last week on both official crude inventory numbers from the USA probably explains the positive sentiment in general at the moment", said Jeffrey Halley of futures brokerage OANDA. The spread can impact oil prices. Despite falling prices, USA companies are actively investing in shale oil production, causing uncertainty in the market.

USA drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery added US$0.46 to settle at US$46.54 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since July 3. OPEC is hoping higher demand in the second half will get rid of excess inventories. US refineries produced about 10.1 million barrels of gasoline a day last week, down by about 400,000 barrels a day compared to the prior week. Given that most of the bearish triggers have been baked into prices, the bounce in oil prices could extend further this week. On the whole, global oil stocks and United States oil and product inventories still remain elevated and we are yet to see a sustained drawdown implying that market rebalancing has still not gathered pace and that it will be a long drawn process. Distillate production averaged over 4.9 million barrels a day last week, down about 400,000 barrels a day compared with the prior week's production.

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