Harvey Rains On Positive Crude Inventory Data

Harvey’s floods continue to submerge the trend of increasingly positive inventory data.

Oil continues to be a game of two halves, with Brent reacting positively to the overnight American Petroleum Institute’s (API) crude inventory data, with WTI continuing to sag as Hurricane Harvey induced refinery shutdowns leaving U.S. crude with no home to call its own.

Lost in the winds of Harvey, the API reported another massive drawdown of 5.78 million barrels against an expected 1.75 million overnight. This continues the multi month trend of falling inventories and would normally be positive for crude as we look forward to the official inventory data this evening. However, with fully 20% of the U.S. refining capacity, off-line attention has been focused on potential shortages in refined products with gasoline futures rocketing another four percent higher overnight.

Brent Spot

Brent spot is trading at 51.70, unchanged from its overnight and previous days close. The Brent premium has blown out to multi-year highs of $5.50 due to Hurricane Harvey and sellers of the Brent/WTI spread at these levels maybe capping Brent’s gains for now. Nevertheless, it continues to consolidate its gains trading mid-range with support at 51.00 and resistance at 53.70.

WTI Spot

WTI spot fell 50 cents to close at 46.20 where it trades unchanged this morning, wilting under the flood waters. We expect this state of affairs to continue until we have more visibility time frames for the Texas and Louisiana refineries to restart production, a process that could take more than a week during normal operations. The official crude Inventory data is expected at -1.75 million barrels with a more negative number most likely not having its usual positive effects on prices. A better than expected number in the present circumstance, however, may see WTI come under unwelcome pressure again.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Currency Analyst
Based in Singapore, Jeffrey has over 25 years experience in the financial markets, having traded currencies, options, precious metals and futures. Jeffrey started his career at Barclays Bank in New Zealand. However he has spent most of it in London and Asia.Jeffrey focuses on the Asia time zone across asset classes. A regular commentator on business news TV and Radio, he is originally from New Zealand and holds an MBA from Cass Business School, London.