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Crude retreats amid increase in inventories, stronger dollar

Crude oil futures were lower midmorning Sept. 30 as investors adopt a wait-and-see approach ahead of OPEC+ meeting, while a stronger dollar and the increase of US crude stocks added further headwinds to energy prices.

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At 10:30 am Singapore time (0230 GMT), the ICE November Brent futures contract was down 24 cents/b (0.31%) from the previous close at $78.40/b, while the NYMEX November light sweet crude contract was 5 cents/b (0.05%) lower at $74.78/b.

"The rally in oil prices continue to take a pause, with investors largely digesting the US dollar strength and unexpected increase in crude inventories," IG Market Strategist Yeap Jun Rong told S&P Global Platts on Sept 30, adding that the recent oil price rally may also carry a more cautious tone ahead, as investors adopt a wait-and-see approach going into the OPEC+ meeting next week.

According to the US Energy Information Administration data showed late Sept. 29, total US commercial crude oil stocks climbed 4.6 million barrels to 418.54 million barrels in the week to Sept. 24. U.S. crude oil inventories are about 7% below the five year average for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 200,000 barrels on the week, while distillate fuel inventories increased by 400,000 barrels. The build was largely in line with recent expectations, with recent American Petroleum Institute data showing stockpiles were up 4.1 million barrels in the week.

"US oil output reached 11.1 million b/d after slumping to 10 million b/d early this month due to Hurricane Ida, while refineries are restoring production," said ANZ research analysts in a note on Sept. 30, adding that recovering US oil production has helped to build inventories.

Nevertheless, a tight market for oil is still remain to be seen amid the supply constraint with the growing demand.

According to Dallas Fed survey, index for supplier delivery time for shale oil producers rose to the highest since 2016. Meanwhile, the Joint Technical Committee of OPEC+ report suggests that market will be undersupplied by 1.2 million b/d in October and 900,000 b/d in November. This will further eat into oil inventories, which have been falling across regions.

Meanwhile, a stronger US dollar has added further pressure to crude prices. The US dollar index was seen at 94.29 in midmorning trading and on pace to close at a one-year high.