CPI day

ICE Brent futures remained supported, above 74 $/b at the prompt, but could experience high volatility today during US market hours, as the BLS releases US inflation data for November. Survey expectations are above 6% y/y for the CPI index, which would maintain the US economy in a highly inflationary environment. Refined products inventories in the ARA built by 2.4 mb w/w, its biggest jump since May. Gasoline stocks jumped by 1.8 mb, a volume that could easily be diverted to the US east coast to rebuild low PADD1 stocks.

Looking at crude markets, Kuwait released their January crude prices and raised prices for Asian customers by 65 cents compared to the Oman/Dubai benchmark, in line with the Saudis. The rising OSP could indicate that Kuwait’ spare capacity is dwindling rapidly, forcing the nation to hike OSPs to reduce export demand. Indeed, reports of the Kuwait upstream sector being close to its maximum output sparked concerns over the reliability of OPEC’s spare capacity.

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