WTI Dips After Biggest Gasoline Build In 8 Months Sparks Demand Fears

Oil prices waffled around today with WTI unable to break away from $45.50 with any confidence as the market weighed near-term demand risks from rising virus cases against hopes for more stimulus and a vaccine rollout.

“The key for oil demand is to get the pandemic under control by the summer travel season,” said Jay Hatfield, CEO at InfraCap in New York. “You’re going to have some bad Covid headlines, but every bad Covid headline seems to be paired with a good vaccine headline.”

Analysts expect a third weekly draw of very small size in crude.


  • Crude +1.141mm (-700k exp)

  • Cushing -1.845mm

  • Gasoline +6.442mm - biggest build since April

  • Distillates +2.316mm

API report a 1.14mm barrel crude build, a big surprise relative to the 700k draw expected, but it was the stocks of products that increased significantly.

Source: Bloomberg

WTI hovered around $45.60 ahead of the API print, and slipped lower on the surprise build.

“For demand to continue to pick up, a big part of that is going to be travel and an open economy,” said Peter McNally, global head for industrials, materials and energy at Third Bridge. “That goes back to vaccines.”

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