Crude oil extends gains as demand outlook offsets India concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil costs prolonged gains on Thursday after rising 1% the earlier session, as bullish forecasts on recovering demand this summer season offset concerns of rising COVID-19 instances in India, Japan and Brazil.

Brent crude for June edged up 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $67.35 a barrel by 0104 GMT whereas U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June was at $63.98 a barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2%.

OPEC, Russia and their allies, a bunch recognized as OPEC+, caught to their plans for a gradual easing of oil manufacturing restrictions from May to July, after OPEC raised barely its demand development for 2021 to six million barrels per day. The group additionally expects international shares to achieve 2.95 billion barrels in July, taking them beneath the 2015-2019 common.

“A closer look at the state of global oil inventories suggests that the market may be closer to the point of rebalancing than what OPEC+ may think,” Citi analysts mentioned, including that many of the crude stock overhang has been absorbed by the market though refined merchandise inventories nonetheless must be labored off.

The financial institution additionally expects vaccination campaigns in North America and Europe to spice up oil demand to a file excessive of 101.5 million bpd this summer season though rising COVID-19 instances in India and Brazil may hit native demand if deeper lockdowns are re-imposed.

Investors centered on a ramp-up in U.S. refinery working charges and drawdown in distillates shares final week, in information launched by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 90,000 barrels final week, a lot smaller than analysts’ forecasts for a 659,000-barrel construct.

In the UK, loadings of the Brent crude oil stream within the British North Sea, which underpin the Brent futures contract, would cease in mid-May if no deal is reached between the Unite union and the Shetland Islands Council using them.

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