New York, US (BBN) – Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday in Asia after industry figures painted a mixed picture on US inventories with crude stocks showing a lower build than seen, but gasoline surprising on the upside, while upbeat manufacturing figures from China were noted.
China’s factory output expanded for the eighth straight month in February as export orders picked up, according to key surveys released on Wednesday, signaling that the economy was highly resilient, reports
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery eased 0.06 per cent to $53.96 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, global benchmark Brent was last quoted at $56.45, down 0.12 per cent.
The American Petroleum Institute said US crude stocks rose 2.5 million barrels by the end of last week, a bit less than expected as gasoline stocks jumped an unexpected 1.84 million barrels, while distillates fell a sharp 3.73 million barrels.
Stocks at the Cushing hub rose 544,000 barrels.
The estimates are followed on Wednesday by official data from the US Energy Information Administration expected to show a 2.85 million barrels build in crude stocks, a 2.008 million drop in gasoline supplies and a 916,000 barrels decline in distillate inventories.
Overnight, crude futures settled modestly lower on Tuesday, as fears concerning rising US crude inventories eased, following a report of further OPEC cuts.
Oil prices lost more than 1 per cent in early trade, as investors feared the EIA’s weekly report on crude oil inventories due on Wednesday, would reveal that US crude stockpiles rose faster than expected, after bucking the trend last week.
Crude futures recovered from session lows, after a Reuters survey found OPEC cut its oil output for a second month in February, following a record high compliance level by its members in January.
In February, supply from the 11 OPEC members with production targets under the deal has averaged 29.87 million bpd, down from a revised figure of 29.96 million bpd in January and 31.17 million bpd in December, according to the Reuters survey.
The continued effort by OPEC and other producers including Russia to tackle the supply glut in the industry came against fresh concerns that rising US crude production may curtail the oil cartel and other producers’ efforts.