Oil prices were flat today after accelerating up to multi-year highs late last week and early this week as OPEC sounded a cautious note on the strength of oil demand (trimming its forecast for 2021 demand growth to 5.8mm b/d, down from its previous projection of 5.96mm b/d), while EIA raised its price forecasts for 2022.
“Despite positive assumptions on oil demand going into the final quarter of the year, supported by seasonal petrochemical and heating fuel demand as well as the potential of switching from natural gas to oil,” actual data on consumption earlier in the year was weaker than expected, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said in the report.
It advised producers “to maintain a vigilant watch over market fundamentals.”
However, the next leg one way or the other will likely be triggered by the latest inventory data as analysts expected a 3rd weekly build in a row for crude, throwing some cold water on the recovery/demand hype.
Crude +5.213mm (+900k exp)
Gasoline -4.575mm (+600k exp)
Distillates -2.707mm (-1.1mm exp)
A big build in crude stocks was offset from a market perspective by the big gasoline draw in the prior week...
WTI hovered around $80.50 ahead of the print and went basically nowhere after the mixed data...
Finally, in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said oil prices could reach $100 a barrel, as The White House has been speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers about helping to bring down rising fuel costs.