Crude Oil WTI Futures Market News and Commentary
Aug WTI crude oil (CLQ19) this morning is up +2.00 (+3.46%), and Aug Brent crude oil (CBQ19) is up +1.70 (+2.61%). Aug RBOB gasoline (RBN19) is up +0.0868 (+4.71%). The energy complex is sharply higher this morning with Aug WTI crude and Aug RBOB at 1-month highs and Aug Brent crude at a 3-1/2 week high. A bullish weekly EIA inventory report is the main catalyst for gains in energy prices today. The EIA reported today that U.S. crude oil inventories plunged by -12.79 million bbl, much more than expectations of -2.75 million bbl, and EIA gasoline supplies unexpectedly fell -996,000 bbl, a bigger draw than expectations of unchanged. The EIA report also showed that crude oil stockpiles at Cushing, the delivery point for WTI futures, tumbled -1.75 million bbl and U.S. crude production in the week of June 21 fell -0.8% w/w to 12.1 million bpd. Finally, strength in foreign demand for U.S. crude is supportive for prices after the U.S. exported a record 3.77 million bpd of crude the week ended June 21. Gasoline prices still have support from supply concerns after a fire and explosion shuttered gasoline output last Friday at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery, the largest refinery on the U.S. East Coast with processing capacity of 350,000 bpd of crude oil. The energy complex also garnered support from an easing of trade tensions after U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview today that negotiators were "about 90% of the way" to a trade deal with China before talks broke down and that he was "hopeful" that a trade deal between the U.S. and China can be found. Today's EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of June 21 were a hefty +6.0% above the 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +0.7% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -7.5% below the 5-year average.