Crude oil traded in a tight range on Thursday morning as China (a major crude oil consumer) came out with its consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) numbers. Meanwhile, crude oil inventories in the US, another major consumer, fell during the week ending March 3.
At 9.55 am on Thursday, May Brent oil futures were up by 0.01 per cent at $82.67 and April crude oil futures on WTI were down by 0.03 per centwere at $76.64.
March crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,288 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹6,305, down by 0.27 per cent; and April futures were trading at ₹6,327 against the previous close of ₹6,336, down by 0.14 per cent.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, which was released on Thursday, showed the Chinese CPI for February was at 1 per cent. However, the market was expecting it to be at around 1.9 per cent. February readings were much lower than January’s reading of 2.1 per cent. February’s CPI growth was one of the slowest pace of growths in the last one year.
Meanwhile, Chinese PPI fell by 1.4 per cent in February against the market expectations of a fall of 1.3 per cent. Chinese PPI reading was at negative 0.8 per cent in January.
The latest numbers indicated that China is still struggling to recover from the three years of Covid restrictions.
Official data from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) on the petroleum status in the US for the week ending March 3, which was released on March 8, showed that the US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the strategic petroleum reserve) decreased by 1.7 million barrels from the previous week. At 478.5 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 7 per cent above the five year average for this time of year.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 19.7 million barrels a day, down by 8.4 per cent from the same period last year.
US crude oil imports averaged 6.3 million barrels a day last week, an increase of 63,000 barrels a day from the previous week.
Turmeric, jeera wilt
March natural gas futures were trading at ₹216 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹211, up by 2.37 per cent.
On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), March jeera contracts were trading at ₹30,000 in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹30,325, down by 1.07 per cent.
April turmeric (farmer polished) futures were trading at ₹6,876 on NCDEX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹6,918, down by 0.61 per cent.