Commodities

Oil prices fall on rising US crude stocks, OPEC output concerns

Reuters Singapore | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 14, 2016

crude

Oil prices fell on Wednesday following a reported rise in US crude inventories and an estimate that OPEC may have produced more crude in November than previously thought, potentially undermining a planned outputcut.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were down 69 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $52.29 a barrel at 0430GMT.

International Brent crude futures were down 69 cents, or 1.2 per cent, at $55.03 per barrel.

Traders said the price falls followed a report of surprise increases in US crude inventories.

Markets were also focused on an anticipated US interest rate hike, likely supporting the dollar and making dollar-traded fuel imports more expensive for countries using other currencies at home.

“Momentum continues to wane in oil markets with both Brent and WTI slightly lower overnight, following higher than expected API inventory numbers in the United States ... (which) showed an unexpectedly large increase of 4.7 million barrels,” saidJeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA brokerage inSingapore.

“We expect Asia trading to have a slightly negative bias as traders trim longs into the Federal Reserves’ main event this evening,” he added, referring to the expected decision later on Wednesday by the US central bank to hike interest rates.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist foreign exchange and futures brokerage AxiTrader said that “traders pretty much have a Fed increase of 25 basis points locked and loaded.”

Oil traders said prices were further depressed by a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which said it believes that the West Asian producer club OPEC pumped about 34.2 million barrels a day of crude in November, 500,000 bpd above OPEC’s official estimate, which was already a record.

If correct, that would undermine the effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers like Russia to cut almost 1.8 million bpd of production in a bid to end two years of oversupply and cheap oil.

The agency said global oil supply rose to a record 98.2 million bpd in November, as OPEC production offset declines elsewhere.

This stands against expectations of 96.95 million bpd of global oil demand for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Despite this, the IEA said that due to firm demand increases, oil market could show a shortfall of 600,000 bpd early next year if producers stick to their reduction plans.

Published on December 14, 2016

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.