Commercial crude oil reserves in the United States increased last week, according to figures released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), a figure put into perspective by the further sharp decline in strategic reserves ( -7.7 million barrels). During the week ended June 10, commercial stocks of black gold increased by 1.9 million barrels net, while analysts expected a contraction of 2.2 million, to settle at 418.7 million . But strategic reserves, which have fallen by more than 100 million barrels over one year, are at their lowest for more than 35 years. Combining commercial stocks and strategic reserves, black gold stored in the United States fell by 5.8 million barrels.
US production back to 12 million barrels per day
This contraction is notably linked to the jump in crude exports (+66%) compared to the previous week. As for refined products, exports also increased, while imports slowed down sharply (-33% compared to the average of the previous four weeks). In addition to the increase in commercial stocks, the other surprise came from the drop in gasoline reserves (-700,000 barrels), while the market was forecasting an increase (+500,000). Last week, gasoline demand remained above the symbolic threshold of 9 million barrels per day, stable compared to the average of the previous four weeks. Another noteworthy fact, after four weeks of status quo, US production has slightly recovered, to 12 million barrels per day, against 11.9. While inventories are low and demand is holding up, the refinery utilization rate fell to 93.7% from 94.2% the previous week.
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For John Kilduff, of Again Capital, the report published on Wednesday contained elements likely to support prices, but also others, such as the increase in production or that of commercial stocks, capable of lowering them. After falling immediately after the release, prices then limited their decline. Around 3:25 p.m. GMT, a barrel of Brent from the North Sea, for delivery in August, yielded 0.35% to 120.74 dollars, while the American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), with maturity in July, lost 0.76 %, at $118.02. “Gasoline demand remained above 9 million barrels per day, it is very high“, noted John Kilduff. “This will continue to put refiners under pressure.At this point, despite record high gasoline prices, “consumption remains very solid. It would have to drop below 9 million barrels for us to start believing in a drop in demand.» related to prices. “We are not there yet.»
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