WTI Futures Slide as Crude Stocks Again Build, USD Rallies

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (DTN) -- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Brent crude traded on the Intercontinental Exchange settled Wednesday's session lower after government data showed U.S. crude oil stockpiles spiked above consensus last week while demand for refined fuels fell.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) midmorning reported U.S. commercial crude inventories rose 3.6 million barrels (bbl) for the week ended Nov. 10 to 439.4 million bbl. Last week's build followed a 13.907 million bbl surge into commercial crude inventories during the preceding week, which was published midmorning for the first time, delayed a week as EIA upgraded its system. U.S. commercial crude inventory has now increased for four consecutive weeks through Nov. 10, up 19.652 million bbl or 4.7% since Oct. 13.

Gasoline inventory was drawn down 1.5 million bbl to a 215.7 million bbl 10-week low while the market expected a modest 100,000 bbl build, although implied demand fell 544,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 8.949 million bpd. The consumption falloff was from an 18-week high, with the four-week average through Nov. 10 at 9 million bpd, up 1.9% from the same period last year.

Bolstering ULSD futures, EIA reported the seventh consecutive weekly drawdown in distillate fuel inventory through Nov. 10, down 1.4 million bbl to a 106.6 million bbl six-month low last week. Distillate stocks have been drawn down 13.464 million bbl or 11.2% since Sept. 22.

Wednesday's move lower in the oil complex also came as the U.S. Dollar Index reversed higher, up 0.34% against a basket of foreign currencies after the largest one-session decline of the year to an 11-week low on Tuesday triggered by data showing a marked slowdown in inflation. The dollar bounced higher Wednesday, weighing on WTI futures.

At settlement, NYMEX December WTI futures declined $1.60 to $76.66 bbl, and January WTI expended its premium against the front-month contract to $0.13. ICE January Brent futures dropped back $1.29 to $81.18 bbl. NYMEX December RBOB futures retreated $0.0210 to $2.2018 gallon and NYMEX December ULSD futures gained $0.0316 to $2.8687 gallon.

Liubov Georges can be reached at Liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges