Oil inventory data

In the week ending January 12, 2018, US crude oil inventories declined by 6.9 MMbbls (million barrels) to 412.7MMbbls—around five times more than the markets’ expected fall. After the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released the data on January 18, US crude oil prices were almost flat due to other factors like rising US production.

Oil Prices after the EIA’s Inventory Report

Inventories spread

The difference between US crude oil inventories and their five-year average is called the “inventories spread.” The inventories spread usually influences oil (USO) (DBO) prices inversely.

For example, the inventories spread was ~25% in September 2017. Since then, the inventories spread has declined by ~19 percentage points. US crude oil prices rose 27.3% during this period.

In the week ending January 12, 2018, the inventories spread contracted by 2 percentage points. However, US crude oil futures fell 0.7% after the inventory data on January 18, 2018. We already discussed the factor that could have obstructed oil’s (UCO) (BNO) (OIIL) rise.

Inventories level

A rise up to 5.2 MMbbls in US crude oil inventories for the week ending January 19, 2018, won’t increase the inventories spread. Any fall in the EIA data scheduled for January 24, 2018, could help oil prices rise.

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