MARKET WATCH: Crude prices fall on news of stock build

Crude oil futures prices fell Oct. 9 on news of a larger-than-expected build in inventories from the US Energy Information Administration. Natural gas prices also dipped.

“Ahead of the bell,” as trading began Oct. 10, “equity, crude, and natural gas futures are all in the green as lawmakers indicated they may be open to a short-term increase in the debt ceiling,” said analysts at Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Meanwhile, RJA analysts said, “This week’s petroleum inventories update was bearish relative to consensus.” The “Big Three” inventories—crude, gasoline, and distillates—collectively rose 3.8 million bbl compared with consensus expectations for a build of 1.5 million bbl, they said.

“Crude inventories had their largest build in 6 weeks: 6.8 million bbl,” they said, adding, “Total petroleum inventories were up 1.7 million bbl and are now 30.4 million bbl above year-ago levels.”

EIA reported that refinery utilization is continuing to decline, falling to 86% from 89%. Total petroleum imports, meanwhile, were 10 million b/d, down from 10.2 million b/d last week.

Energy prices

The NYMEX November and December crude contracts each lost $1.88 on Oct. 9 to settle at $101.61/bbl and $101.43/bbl, respectively.

Heating oil for November delivery dropped 1.5¢ to a rounded $3.02/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November edged down a little less than a penny to a rounded $2.62/gal.

The November natural gas contract fell 3.7¢ to a rounded $3.68/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, the gas price at Henry Hub, La., edged up less than a cent to $3.70/MMbtu.

In London, the November IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude declined by $1.10, settling at $109.06/bbl. The December contract for Brent dropped $1.14 to $108.27/bbl. The October contract for gas oil decreased by $10.25 to $925.25/tonne.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes fell 42¢ on Oct. 9 to $106.94/bbl.

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