WTI Crude Oil Prices Ease as API Reports Surprising Build in Crude Inventories
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
On Thursday, WTI crude oil prices are sliding lower on the back of a surprising build in US crude inventories over the past week, bringing back concerns about the pandemic and restrictions driving weakness in oil demand. At the time of writing, WTI crude oil is trading at around $53.10 per barrel.
After trading bullish for the past couple of sessions over rising hopes for more stimulus measures being rolled out in the US, crude oil has weakened following the release of the API report on Wednesday. According to the API, crude stockpiles in the US rose by 2.6 million barrels in the past week, against economists’ expectations for a drop by 1.2 million barrels instead.
On a slightly positive note, however, the API report revealed a smaller than forecast build in gasoline and distillate stockpiles, including diesel, jet fuel as well as distillate. The data highlights a decline in oil demand amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which continue to exert pressure on oil prices.
Even though Biden’s inauguration had brought some cheer to oil markets amid expectations that more stimulus measures could spur oil demand, traders are also concerns about his commitment to cutting carbon emissions. Biden had announced that the US would return to the Paris climate accord, which could potentially reduce the demand for crude oil and products, as the country increases dependence on clean energy instead.