Week of April 25, 2016
- Oil prices moved up sharply as China reported Thursday that crude-oil imports in March were up 21.6% vs. the prior year.
- The increase in imports was driven by government reserve stockpiling and local refineries taking advantage of low prices.
- US crude inventories continued to grow, increasing by 2.1 mm bbl vs. the prior week and remaining at near-record highs.
- However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that US crude production fell for the sixth straight week and is down to 9 mm bbl/day from last April’s peak of 9.7 mm bbl/day.
- Other non-OPEC production also is contracting and is expected to fall by 700,000 bbl/day in 2016.
- The IEA estimates this drop represents the largest annual decline since 1992.