Oil prices remain about half of what they were just over a year ago, however, as the global supply of crude continues to exceed demand. A string of weaker economic data out of China, the world’s second biggest oil consumer, has spooked investors in recent months and further depressed prices. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.7% to $47.75 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.4% at $44.49 a barrel.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.795957; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.152331; American Dollar to Euro = 1.177259; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009048; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049246.
Chinese companies booked tankers to collect more West African crude in February than in any single month since at least 2011, data from the physical shipping market collated by Bloomberg show. It also increased its purchases of oil from producers in the North Sea and Russia. The voyages are all thousands of miles farther than the Middle East, which supplies most to the Asian country. “This surge in Chinese demand for crude goes against recent macroeconomic news coming out of the country but is very much in line with their past behaviour in low flat price environments,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix GmbH, said by phone. “Whenever there has been a strong retracement in prices China has loaded up their reserves.”
Oil prices fall as EIA reports a smaller-than-expected decline in U.S. crude supply (marketwatch.com)
The Energy Information Administration on Thursday reported that U.S. crude supplies edged lower by 300,000 barrels for the week ended May 24. Data were delayed by a day because of Monday's Memorial Day holiday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expected a fall of 1.4 million barrels for crude stocks, on average. The American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday reported a decline of 5.3 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA data also revealed that gasoline inventories climbed by 2.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels last week. Click Read More below for additional information.