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Edward Bell - Commodity Analyst
Published Date: 05 April 2018
EIA data helped to give oil markets some relief overnight as most of the market fixated on the pending trade war between the US and China. China has now imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods but there still remains time for a negotiated settlement before the trade barriers are imposed. Overall crude inventories in the US fell by 4.6m bbl last week, defying market expectations, while a draw in gasoline inventories likely also helped sentiment. US crude exports hit a new modern era high of over 2.1m b/d, comparable with total exports from Iran in February.
There looks to be ample space for the US to continue its accelerated pace of production growth as OPEC sticks to the terms of its production cuts, albeit with unintentional outages doing much of the work at the moment. Few market observers would have expected Venezuela to be the most compliant member of OPEC (averaging 509% compliant so far in 2018).
Oil market highlights: Prices take a pause
OPEC production: exposed
Oil market highlights: Drifting