Oil futures rose for a third straight day Wednesday, with U.S. prices on track to score their highest finish in over two years, buoyed by expectations for higher demand as the European and U.S. economies reopen and the biggest weekly drop in U.S. crude supplies since January.
Stronger refinery runs and hefty exports have resulted in a solid draw to crude inventories, said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. As refineries gear up for a monumental summer driving season, refining activity should only increase from hereon out, while Asian demand is set to bolster U.S. oil exports going forward inventory draws ahoy.
On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 8 million barrels for the week ended April 30. That was the biggest weekly decline since January.
On average, analysts polled by SP Global Platts forecast a decline of 3.9 million barrels for crude stocks, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a 7.7 millionbarrel drop.
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery the U.S. benchmark, rose 53 cents, or 0.8, to 66.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A settlement above the 66.09 seen in March would be the highest for a frontmonth contract since April 2019, according to FactSet data.
July Brent was up 75 cents, or 1.1, at 69.63 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, on track for the highest settlement since March.
Clearly, the market is focusing more on…