Oil continues to fall, despite the rebound in American demand

Oil continues to fall, despite the rebound in American demand
Oil continues to fall, despite the rebound in American demand

New York (awp/afp) – Oil prices continued a third consecutive session of decline, Wednesday, on a sluggish market, despite the surge in gasoline demand in the United States.

The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea for delivery in July fell 1.18%, to close at $81.90.

The barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) of the same maturity, which was the first day of use as a reference contract, fell by 1.38%, to 77.57 dollars.

For Susannah Streeter, of Hargreaves Lansdown, the extension of the aggressive monetary policy of the American central bank (Fed) is weighing on the financial margins of households and businesses, which could restrict their energy spending.

This prospect worries operators, who fear for demand.

The weekly report from the American Energy Information Agency (EIA) nevertheless showed a rebound in gasoline demand on Wednesday.

After six consecutive weeks below the symbolic threshold of 9 million barrels per day, it reached 9.3 million during the week ending May 17.

Another witness to a revival, the capacity utilization rate of American refineries rose to 91.7%, the highest in four months.

These figures allowed black gold prices to recover some of their losses on Wednesday, but were not enough to get them out of the rut.

Operators also noted that commercial crude stocks in the United States had increased by 1.8 million barrels, while analysts were expecting, on average, a drop of 2 million.

Even if this discrepancy is mainly due to a statistical adjustment which added 9.6 million barrels to the volumes arriving on the American market, the figure left a bad impression.

“Inventories are rising while demand for oil and gasoline is very strong,” commented John Kilduff of Again Capital. “It shows you what the market is facing.”

Crude prices are approaching their lowest of almost three months, recorded in mid-May.

John Kilduff does not rule out seeing WTI fall below 75 dollars.

The analyst does not rule out the possibility that demand will quickly run out of steam after the Memorial Day weekend (May 25 to 27), which traditionally corresponds to the start of the summer travel season in the United States.

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