August crude oil prices came under pressure during the overnight and early morning hours, weighed down by slowing global growth concerns and an uncertain global oil demand outlook from the IEA earlier this morning. The outside market tone showed a risk-off bias, with global equity markets lower and the Euro currency at a fresh two year low against the US dollar. The crude oil market garnered support yesterday from EIA data that showed a much larger than expected draw in US crude supplies of 4.696 million barrels. Two factors behind the unexpected draw come from a drop in import activity and a surge in refinery capacity to its highest level in five years. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 8.626 million barrels per day compared to 8.774 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was up 0.7% to 92.7%, which compares to 88.0% last year and the five year average of 89.38%.
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