Bloomberg News

Oil Trades Near Four-Month Low Before U.S. Fuel-Supply Report

June 28, 2011

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil traded near a four-month low before an Energy Department report that may show gasoline stockpiles in the U.S. climbed to the highest in 12 weeks.

Futures retraced their 0.9 percent gain today on concern that gasoline supplies may rise 775,000 barrels to 215.4 million barrels in the week ended June 24, according to a survey of analysts before tomorrow’s release. Distillate stockpiles probably gained 1.05 million barrels. Average U.S. motor-fuel demand in the past four weeks was 0.4 percent below the same period a year earlier, MasterCard Inc. said June 21.

“There is a bit of concern about the buildup in products,” said Serene Lim, a commodity and energy strategist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “This is normally the time of year when you see a build in distillates, and gasoline inventories will decline but what we’re seeing is that demand has been lackluster. So there are concerns inventories will increase.”

Crude for August delivery was at $90.58 a barrel, down 3 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:32 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, the contract fell 0.6 percent to $90.61, the lowest settlement since Feb. 18. Futures have gained 16 percent in the past year.

Brent oil for August settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange fell as much as 64 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $105.35 a barrel. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $15.22 to U.S. futures. On June 15, the difference between front-month prices reached a record $22.29.

U.S. crude oil inventories probably fell 1.5 million barrels to the lowest level in two months, according to the median of 10 analyst estimates before the government report. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will publish its own stockpile data.

--Editors: Jane, Ching Shen Lee, Baldave Singh

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Schmollinger in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at

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