Oil is stable, market is waiting

Crude oil prices were sideways on Wednesday. Brent first nearby prices decreased by 0.4% to close at $106.70/b while WTI prics did not move to settle at $102.75/b at the end of the session.

Volatility was low, WTI prices traded in a tight band of $100.70 – $104.16 as traders did not receive many updates on the hot topics of the moment: ban of Russian oil imports, lockdown in Shanghai, disruption in Libya.

The weekly EIA report published yesterday indicated that US crude inventories fell by 8.0 Mb last week (the consensus was a 2.5 Mb increase) and 4.7 Mb were released from the strategic reserve. The inventory shrinkage was fueled by US exports that reached their highest level since March 2020 to an average of 4.3 Mbd as imports were at their lowest level for one year. Finally, US crude production is moving closer to pre-pandemic levels, increasing by 0.1 Mbd at 11.9 Mbd last week.

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