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Wednesday, September 14, 2016
NEANDA SALVATERRA and
JENNY W. HSU
NEW YORK—Oil prices fell Wednesday after weekly inventory data showed an unexpected decline in U.S. crude-oil inventories but an increase in stockpiles of refined products.
U.S. crude for October delivery recently fell 75 cents, or 1.67%, to $44.15 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 67 cents, or 1.4%, to $46.43 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 600,000 barrels in the week ended Sept. 9, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the agency to report that crude stockpiles rose by 5.4 million barrels.
However, total supplies of crude oil and refined products rose by six million barrels in the week to 1.4 billion barrels, near the record high reached a few weeks ago, the EIA said. Stockpiles of gasoline and distillates, including heating oil and diesel fuel, rose.
Oil futures had slumped 3% on Tuesday on a bearish demand growth projection from the International Energy Agency.PHOTO: REUTERS
Gasoline futures recently fell 2% to $1.3492 a gallon. Diesel futures fell 2.1% to $1.3934 a gallon.“The market is really focused on the fact that both gasoline and distillate inventories rose,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer, when drivers take road trips. “We end the gasoline driving season with a fair amount of inventory,” he said.
U.S. crude production rose by 35,000 barrels a day last week to 8.5 million barrels a day, the EIA estimated. Domestic oil output is closely watched for signs of how large spending cuts by oil companies will translate into lower production, helping to shrink the global glut of crude.