WTI Holds Losses After Big Crude Build, Cushing Stocks Plunge

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021 - 10:37 AM

Oil prices tumbled overnight following a surprise crude build reported by API, but WTI has rebounded this morning after tagging a $82 handle to top $84.

"There is little that can tilt oil prices away from their upwards momentum on the short term, as the only real supply source of significance is OPEC+, and there doesn't seem to be much mood for policy change on that front for the moment," said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy, in daily market commentary.

"There are only two offramps to the current bout of oil price volatility and one is OPEC+ taking supply action, but the group has repeatedly said it does not plan on altering its strategy," said Dickson. There's also the chance that "another round of COVID-19 breakouts and lockdowns could again dim the demand outlook," she said. "But it seems to be a last resort strategy for many economies that are tired of repeating the unpopular economy-damaging process."

All eyes will be on the crude data as well as Cushing's offsets as refiners “are drawing down on Cushing at a pretty incredible pace right now,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. “We’re getting close to empty.”


  • Crude +2.318mm (-100k exp)

  • Cushing -3.734mm - biggest draw since January 2021

  • Gasoline +530k (-2.7mm exp)

  • Distillates +986k (-2mm exp)


  • Crude +4.27mm (-100k exp)

  • Cushing -3.899mm - biggest draw since January 2021

  • Gasoline -1.99mm (-2.7mm exp)

  • Distillates -432k (-2mm exp)

Crude stocks rose far more than expected and more than API reported last week, but products saw inventories fall and Cushing stocks plunged...

Source: Bloomberg

Total nationwide crude stockpiles, including both commercial inventories and oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, rose by 3.18 million barrels. A build of 4.27 million barrels in commercial crude stockpiles was reduced by a draw of 1.1 million barrels from the SPR.

Source: Bloomberg

US Crude production continues to hold below pre-Hurricane Ida levels..

Source: Bloomberg

WTI hovered around $84 ahead of the official data print and slipped lower after the big crude build...

Finally, the draw at Cushing was the largest since January.

Source: Bloomberg

That's the lowest since October 2018, but at this rate of decline we are still only weeks away from reaching operational bottoms at the largest U.S. oil storage hub.