Crude oil gains as surge in US inventories below industry forecast

Crude oil futures traded higher on Thursday morning as official data showed smaller increase in inventories in the US than the rise forecast by the industry body American Petroleum Institute (API).

At 9.53 am on Thursday, June Brent oil futures were at $85.70, up by 0.34 per cent, and May crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $81.71, up by 0.44 per cent.

April crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,813 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading on Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹6,776, up by 0.55 per cent, and May futures were trading at ₹6,779 against the previous close of ₹6746, up by 0.49 per cent.

Stocks 2% below 5-year average

Official data from the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) showed that the US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 3.2 million barrels for the week ending March 22 from the previous week. At 448.2 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 2 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

However, API had forecasted an inventory increase of 9.33 million barrels for the week ending March 22. Official data from EIA was below API’s forecast.

According to EIA, total motor gasoline inventories in the US increased by 1.3 million barrels for the week ending March 22 from last week and were about one per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

Total products supplied in the US over the last four-week period averaged 20.1 million barrels a day, up by 2.2 per cent from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 8.9 million barrels a day, up by 0.9 per cent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, tighter supply outlook for consuming markets also helped boost the price of the commodity. Major members of OPEC+ (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) such as Saudi Arabia and Russia kept their commitment to reduce production output to stabilise the markets.

Added to this, the recent drone attacks by Ukraine on Russian refineries have impacted the production of petroleum products in that country.

Guar gum, castorseed gain

April copper futures were trading at ₹762.35 on MCX against the previous close of ₹759.05, up by 0.43 per cent.

On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), May castorseed contracts were trading at ₹6,049 against the previous close of ₹6,000, up by 0.82 per cent.

April guar gum futures were trading at ₹9,920 on NCDEX against the previous close of ₹9,871, up by 0.50 per cent.



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