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New York, US (BBN) – Crude oil prices held gains in Asia on Wednesday after a larger than expected draw in industry estimates of US crude inventories and as investors noted political risk from the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile by North Korea ahead of a summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week that will discuss the Korean peninsula in addition to trade.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery rose 0.57 per cent to $51.32 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 0.44% to $54.41 a barrel.
Crude inventories in the U.S. dropped a more than expected 1.83 million barrels to 533.7 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said Tuesday, for the third decline in the past three months.
Gasoline stocks down by 2.56 million barrels and distillates showing a decline of 2.09 million barrels, also down more than levels seen in estimates that expected crude inventories dropped by 435,000 barrels and distillates eased by 1.016 million barrels and gasoline supplies fell 1.422 million barrels.
Supplies at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 1.34 million barrels.
Official data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due on Wednesday morning.
Ship brokers on Wednesday said a further sign of reduce crude shipments globally by OPEC comes via oil analysis firm Vortexa that showed cargoes shipped fell by 17 per cent since the January start of a coordinated pact by OPEC and leading non-OPEC producers to trim nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from global amrkets.
“We have seen a significant reduction in global oil supply since January, with oil on water going from 978 million barrels on Jan. 1 to 812 million barrels on April 3,” Vortex CEO Fabio Kuhn said in a statement.
“These changes are a signal that the rebalancing is happening faster than many in the market believe.”