25 March 2015 – Crude futures dipped slightly on Wednesday as ballooning storage volumes continued to pressure prices although relatively healthy demand figures from Europe supported prices.
Brent oil futures were trading at $55.09 a barrel early on Wednesday, down two cents, while US WTI crude was at $47.40 a barrel, down $0.11.
Strengthening European manufacturing data – and the implication of greater energy demand – lent prices some support even as the expectation of further stock builds in the US weighed on oil markets.
“Another week, another record US commercial stock level,” said US-based PIRA Energy.
A poll of eight analysts – taken ahead of weekly reports from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) – forecast a crude stock build of 5.1 million barrels on average last week.
The API report on Tuesday showed a slightly smaller build in US crude stocks at 4.8 million barrels for last week.
Any build from the more closely watched EIA figures due out later on Wednesday would confirm US crude stockpiles have hit a record for the eleventh straight week.
In Japan, commercial weekly crude stocks were down 2.8% to 82.87 million barrels. The year-on-year change was a drop of nearly 8%.