Oil climbs above $50 before U.S. data as Saudis curb exports

By Grant Smith on 10/10/2017

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Oil rose above $50/bbl in New York before data forecast to show a third weekly drop in U.S. crude inventories, while Saudi Arabia said it will sell customers considerably less crude than they’re asking for.

Futures advanced 1.4% after rebounding 0.6% on Monday from a weekly loss. Crude stockpiles probably slid by 750,000 bbl last week, a Bloomberg survey showed before an Energy Information Administration report due Thursday.

Oil last week fell the most since May on speculation rising global output may offset supply curbs led by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The output-cuts deal is set to expire at the end of March and the group is likely to discuss an extension at its next meeting on Nov. 30. Its de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, said state oil company Saudi Aramco will ship 560,000 bpd less than customers are requesting in November.

“In their attempt to reassure the market of their determination to bring global stocks down, the company has decided to take the unusual step of going public with their November export plans,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London. “The kingdom’s intention is clear. Concrete and practical steps are being taken.”

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $50.28/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 70 cents, at 8:39 a.m. local time. Total volume traded was about 24% below the 100-day average. Prices climbed 29 cents to $49.58 on Monday after falling 4.6% last week.

Brent for December settlement advanced 57 cents to $56.36/bbl on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $5.75 premium to WTI for the same month. The global benchmark crude rose 17 cents to $55.79 on Monday after falling 3.3% last week.

Saudi Aramco plans to supply 7.15 MMbpd “despite very strong demand” that exceeds 7.7 MMbpd, the Saudi Energy Ministry said in a statement.

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