Crude Slides as US Stockpiles Rise More Than Expected

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Oil fell on Wednesday, November 3 after United States crude stocks rose more than expected in the most recent week.

Brent crude depreciated by 0.79 per cent or 65 cents to close at $81.34 per barrel as the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) depleted by 1.09 per cent or 88 cents to trade at $79.98 a barrel.

Oil started to drift lower shortly after the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) reported that crude oil inventories grew by 3.3 million barrels for the week ending October 29.

The report followed another sober data posted on Tuesday by the API, which showed a 3.6 million barrel build to crude oil—the sixth straight such build, according to the industry body.

Despite the six weeks of builds, US crude inventories are still 57 million barrels below where they were at the beginning of the year.

Cushing inventories have already drawn down more than 30 million barrels so far this year.

With the API and EIA data pushing prices down, oil prices will be at looking at the outcome of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+), which holds on Thursday.

The general sentiment in the market is that OPEC+ will stick to its planned production cut easement of 400,000 barrels per day.

However, this has continued to trouble world leaders like the American President, Mr Joe Biden, who blamed the high prices of fuel on OPEC’s refusal to push more barrels into the market.

The US President has taken every opportunity to ask OPEC to turn on the taps and increase production more than the group has planned, which is for a 400,000 barrels per day increase in production per month.

The latest came at a climate summit in Glasgow where he also attributed higher inflation to the coronavirus slowing down the supply chain.

Prices were also weakened as the market worried about the potential tapering of the US Federal Reserve asset purchases that could slow growth and reduce appetite for riskier inflation-hedge assets such as crude futures.

The US Dollar was strengthened before the Fed’s announcement, further weighing on oil prices as a stronger dollar makes crude more expensive for holders of other currencies.

OPEC+ will meet today and analysts note that apart from agreeing on production levels for December, OPEC+ must also consider what to do with Nigeria and Angola which trail their combined quota by more than 400,000 barrels per day due to various problems.

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