Crude Inventory Build Sends Oil Prices Lower

Crude oil prices moved lower today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory build of 3.9 million barrels for the week to November 4.

This compared with a draw of 3.1 million barrels for the previous week, which followed a weekly build of 2.6 million barrels, as estimated by the EIA.

In gasoline, the EIA estimated an inventory decline of 900,000 barrels, with production averaging 9.8 million barrels daily.

This compared with a draw of 1.3 million barrels for the previous week and production of 9.5 million barrels daily.

In middle distillates, the EIA estimated an inventory draw of half a million barrels for the week to November 4, with production at a daily average of 5.2 million barrels.

This compared with a build of 400,000 barrels for the previous week that followed another modest increase in inventories, at 200,000 barrels. Middle distillate production for the previous week stood at 5.1 million barrels daily.

A day earlier, the American Petroleum Institute reported an inventory build of 5.6 million barrels in crude oil for the week to November 4, estimating that inventories had grown by a cumulative 31 million barrels since the start of the year.

Oil prices, meanwhile, have been weighed down by the uncertainty around Chinese demand as it remains unclear whether the country will relax its Covid restrictions and its zero-Covid policy or not.

The U.S. midterm elections also had a negative effect on prices on Tuesday, with both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate shedding some $2 per barrel.

Also on Tuesday, the EIA updated its oil demand forecast for next year, saying it now expected demand growth to be 320,000 bpd lower, at 1.16 million bpd in 2023. At the same time, the EIA raised its demand forecast for the current year, by 140,000 bpd to 1.6 million bpd.