Let's Shift Oil Focus From Supply to Demand

The remarkable thing about this week's inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is how unremarkable they are. Crude inventories showed a significant draw this week and (ex the barrels in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) now sit at 495.4 million barrels. The EIA may describe that as "in the upper half of the average range for this time of year," but really, what we are seeing is a normalization in U.S. crude stocks. In fact, that 495.4 million barrel inventory is only 4.2 million barrels higher than the figure for the corresponding week in 2016, a difference of 0.8%. 

America's oil stockpile is no longer on the seemingly inexorable growth path (remember those idiotic, hysterical, "we're going to run out of storage at Cushing" stories of two summers ago?), but we are not exactly burning oil either. Thus, West Texas Intermediate crude prices sit at $46 per barrel as of this writing, less than a dollar below their level of one year ago. ...418 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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