Global oil supply falls in January '19: OPEC

Crude Oil Gold Natural Gas

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose $1.20, or 2.3 percent, to $53.61 a barrel. Brent crude oil continued to outperform WTI, hitting its highest level since November 21 while the US contract remained below its early February high.

April Brent crude LCOJ9, +1.94% the worldwide benchmark, gained $1.19, or 1.9%, to end at $63.61 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, with the front month marking the highest finish since November 19.

"The potential for, maybe, an agreement between the USA and China has pushed prices higher", said Tom Saal, senior vice president at INTL FCStone in Miami.

"The 90-day truce (on trade) agreed in December will run out on March 1, but given the progress of the talks there could be an extension, which is why there (is) rising optimism that the two leaders will meet later that month", said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst, OANDA.

The price of crude has risen 20 percent this year, driven primarily by the prospect of a decline in oil supply from OPEC and other top exporters such as Russian Federation.

"Initial production and supply data from participating countries is beginning to show various levels of conformity, as can be viewed in OPEC's latest Monthly Oil Market Report".

Iranian oil industry has been under pressure from the USA efforts to isolate the country by reimposing sanctions.

Markets are tightening because of voluntary production cuts, effective since January 1, led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russian Federation aimed at forestalling a global glut.

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USA crude stockpiles rose by 3.6 million barrels (Mmbbl) in the week ended February 8, EIA reported. Stocks of gasoline increased by 408,000 barrels to a near-record 258.3 million.

The IEA left its demand growth forecast for 2019 unchanged from its last report in January at 1.4 million barrels per day.

Brent oil jumped to an 8-day high of $63.32 per barrel yesterday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that it had cut its output by nearly 800,000 barrels per day in January to 30.81 million barrels per day.

Brent oil increased by 2.5% to just under $ 63 per barrel. USA shale producers have cut back on production, while crude imports in the US over the past four weeks are down 7.5% from a year ago and tanker tracking data indicate a decline in Saudi crude shipments.

Growing U.S. supply and a potential economic slowdown this year could also cap oil markets.

"We continue to forecast further upside.driven by the combination of resilient demand growth exceeding low expectations and large supply curtailments from OPEC+", he wrote on Tuesday.

"Our primary objective is to ensure that the oil market remains in balance throughout 2019 and beyond in order to build on the success of the past couple of years", added Barkindo.

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