NYMEX Oil Futures Continue Lower

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest to delivery traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange continued lower following the release of weekly supply data from the Energy Information Administration showing sizeable builds in gasoline and commercial crude oil inventories.

NYMEX July West Texas Intermediate futures continued lower after EIA showed a 5.8 million bbl build in commercial crude inventories to 438.1 million bbl during the week-ended May 18 while expectations called for a drawdown. The EIA estimate compares with a 1.4 million bbl decline for the previous week, and a 1.3 million bbl draw as reported by American Petroleum Institute for the equivalent period. The crude build added to an increase in total domestic commercial stocks, which gained 6.7 million bbl to 1.1923 billion bbl during the week reviewed, though 143.9 million bbl less than a year ago.

The increase in commercial crude stocks came with a dip in refiner demand to a 16.628 million bpd, while imports at 8.159 million bpd increased and exports declined. U.S. oil production was flat, up 2,000 bpd on the week to 10.725 million bpd during the week-ended May 11.

A reported 1.9 million bbl build in gasoline inventories to 233.9 million bbl compares with a 3.8 million bbl draw the prior week, though still off 2.5% or 6.0 million bbl from 239.9 bbl for the equivalent period in 2017. The API reported a 1.0 million bbl build.

Distillate fuel supply were down for the seventh straight week, down 951,000 bbl to 114.0 million bbl following the prior week’s 100,000 bbl draw. The draw was less than the API-reported 1.3 million bbl decline. Distillate fuel stocks continue to fall versus year-ago levels with EIA reporting levels down 22.1% from a year ago against a 21.7% decline for the previous report.

In late morning Wednesday trade, NYMEX June WTI futures were down about 58cts to $71.62 bbl, with ICE July Brent 68 cents lower at $78.89 bbl. NYMEX June ULSD futures were down fractionally to $2.2731 gal, with the June RBOB contract 2.87 cents less at $2.2415 gallon.

Brian Whary can be reached at brian.whary@dtn.com