Oil prices ended sharply higher Wednesday in New York, the market rejoiced to see an unexpected decline in crude inventories in the United States, accompanied by a slight decline in new domestic production.
The price of a barrel of “light sweet crude” (WTI) for October delivery gained 2.56 dollars to 47.15 dollars on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), a jump of almost 6% in a single session .
The weekly figures from the US Department of Energy (DoE) on inventories showed that those of crude had fallen by 2.1 million barrels, while experts polled by Bloomberg expected an increase of two million barrels of oil.
“But the important figure is that of the Cushing terminal” (Oklahoma, southern United States), which is the benchmark WTI, assured Bob Yawger, Mizuho Securities. The reserves stored in the terminal fell 1.9 million barrels.
“This means that we lose production in the US,” he said, even though the number of day revealed only 18,000 bpd reflux in this regard.
“It’s not much, but with Cushing’s figure this means that we could soon see” a larger decline in production, in a context where the market is focusing on the evolution to predict the offers in a market overwhelmed by the global oversupply.
Other analysts, however, remain very cautious.
Thomas Pugh, at Capital Economics, said that the refineries had against all odds upped the pace, even what is supposed to start the season shutdowns caused by maintenance, with an impact on declining stocks crude and higher gasoline ones.
“Two major refineries, including that of Whiting, Indiana (northern United States) have restarted after unplanned maintenance periods,” said Mr. Pugh.
Gasoline stocks rose 2.8 million barrels, while analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a decrease of 500,000 barrels.
Inventories of distillates (including diesel, heating oil and kerosene) increased by 3.1 million barrels, much more than the advance of 300,000 barrels expected.
All categories, US oil stocks rose 8.5 million barrels, “which gives the report a downward dimension,” said Torbjorn Kjus.