Benchmark crude prices declined in trading on Thursday amid a significant increase in US oil stocks, which darkens optimism about demand during the summer auto season in the country, Interfax reports.
The cost of Brent August futures on the London stock exchange ICE Futures by 8:20 a.m. Kyiv time on Thursday amounted to $71.75 per barrel, which is $0.47 (0.65%) below the price at the close of the previous session. As a result of trading on Wednesday, these contracts did not change in price, remaining at their maximum since May 2019 of $72.22 per barrel.
The price of WTI crude oil futures for July in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) was by this time $69.55 per barrel, which is $0.41 (0.59%) below the final value of the previous session. By the close of the market on Wednesday, the value of these contracts decreased by $0.09 (0.1%) to $69.96 per barrel. On Tuesday, WTI price exceeded $70 a barrel, reaching its highest since October 2018.
Oil stocks in the United States last week decreased by 5.24 million barrels to 474.03 million barrels, according to data from the country's energy ministry, published on Wednesday.
“Refineries pump out a lot of fuel, operating at 91.3% of their production capacity. The growth in oil demand has been significant over the past month, but has eased slightly this week,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.
Despite a larger than expected decline in US oil inventories, the market appears to be focusing on a substantial increase in gasoline and distillate reserves, the expert said.