Oil futures fell again Thursday as a bullish draw in U.S. crude stocks was offset by surprise builds in gasoline and diesel inventories, adding to concerns about fuel demand as the summer driving season gets underway.


The Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude inventories fell by a greater than expected 4.2M barrels in the week ending May 24, but gasoline stocks rose by 2M barrels and gasoline demand fell to 9.1M bbl/day from 9.3M bbl/day in the previous week.


Again Capital’s John Kilduff told Reuters he expected to see a draw in gasoline ahead of the holiday weekend, “but when refiners are cranking it out, that is too much to drain product inventories,” adding he anticipated gasoline demand would approach 9.5M bbl/day going into the holiday.


“Weakness in gasoline markets have continued to drag down the rest of the oil complex,” StoneX analysts said. “Demand prospects remain shaky for the summer due to elevated interest rates and a potential economic slowdown.”


Front-month June Nymex RBOB gasoline futures (XB1:COM) closed -2.4% to a three-month low of $2.4046/gal, while ultra-low sulfur diesel futures hit their lowest in nearly a year.


Front-month Nymex crude (CL1:COM) for July delivery ended -1.7% to $77.91/bbl. its sixth loss in the last eight sessions, and front-month July Brent (CO1:COM) closed -2.1% to $81.86/bbl.




Volatility could continue into the weekend as the market looks to Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting, where the cartel will decide whether to extend output cuts beyond Q2.


OPEC+ is working on a complex deal to be agreed at its meeting that will allow the group to extend some of its deep production cuts into 2025, Reuters reported Thursday.


The group is currently cutting output by a total of 5.8M bbl/day, include 3.66M bbl/day by OPEC+ members valid through to the end of this year, and 2.2M bbl/day of voluntary cuts by some members which expire at the end of June.


The new deal could include extending some or all of the cuts of 3.66M bbl/day into 2025 and some or all of the voluntary cuts of 2.2M bbl/day into Q3 or Q4 of 2024, according to the report.

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