Oil was down Thursday morning in Asia, but remained near one-month highs as investors assessed the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s latest forecasts for oil demand and a draw in U.S. crude oil supplies.
Brent oil futures inched down 0.02% to $66.57 by 12:31 AM ET (4:31 AM GMT) after gaining 4.6% during the previous session and closing at its highest level since Mar. 17. WTI futures inched down 0.10% to $63.09 after climbing 4.9% during the previous session.
U.S. crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a draw of 5.889 million barrels in the week to Apr. 9. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com had predicted a 2.889-million-barrel draw, while a 3.522-million-barrel draw was recorded during the previous week.
The EIA data also said that gasoline supplied to the market during the past week increased to 8.9 million barrels per day (bpd), its highest level since August 2020.
Supply data from the American Petroleum Institute a day before recorded a draw of 3.608 million barrels.
East Coast crude stocks also hit a record low and investors remained optimistic over supply.
“We see robust stock draws even after factoring in bearish risks as refinery runs are set to rise sharply in the coming months,” Citi Research analysts said in a note.
However, IEA’s monthly report predicted that global oil demand and supply are set to be rebalanced in the second half of 2021, clawing back the demand lost in 2020 thanks to COVID-19. Should the prediction prove accurate, producers may then need to pump a further 2 million barrels per day (bpd) to meet the demand.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) also raised its forecast for global oil demand in 2021 earlier in the week. The cartel expects demand to rise by 70,000 bpd from March’s forecast and global demand to rise by 5.95 million bpd in 2021.