June crude oil prices trended lower throughout the early morning hours, pressured by sluggish European and US economic data yesterday and weaker than expected Chinese service sector activity in April. Brent crude oil prices were also weaker as tensions over Iran's nuclear program ease. Some traders also pointed to weakness in crude oil coming from more than ample supply in the US, after a sixth consecutive weekly inventory build yesterday. Crude stocks at 375.864 million barrels are the highest for this week since 2009. EIA crude stocks rose 2.840 million barrels, which was a little more than expected. This brought current inventory levels to 9.318 million barrels above year ago levels and 22.04 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 8.822 million barrels per day compared to 8.766 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was up 1.3% to 86.0%, which compares to 82.8% last year and the five year average of 86.35%.
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