Weak Demand Concerns Keep WTI Crude Oil Under Pressure
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
WTI crude oil is trading bearish in early trading on Wednesday on the back of rising worries about the pandemic’s impact on fuel demand even as the latest API report revealed an unexpected build in crude inventories across the US. At the time of writing, WTI crude oil is trading at around $47.53 per barrel.
According to the API, crude stockpiles in the US grew by 2 million barrels over the past week to around 495 million barrels. On the other hand, economists were anticipating a drawdown of 1.9 million barrels, and the build highlighted fears that lockdowns and restrictions were once again reducing the demand for oil.
Crude oil prices has previously enjoyed support from news reports about how Britain, Canada and the US had started the process of administering the vaccine against COVID-19 across their countries. Even though the sentiment in oil markets had been boosted over the past few weeks over progress in the development and rollout of vaccines, crude oil prices have now weakened as parts of Europe and the US tightened lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the pandemic.
In addition, the IEA has also cautioned that the vaccine rollout is unlikely to spur oil demand immediately, and has even revised its oil demand forecast for the year further lower by 50k bpd and for 2021 by 170k bpd. In its latest forecast, the agency highlighted the lower demand for jet fuel on the back of restrictions on international travel as one of the key reasons that would keep oil demand lower this year and in 2021 as well.