Tuesday, February 27

Oil Falls for Fifth Day as US Exports Add to Oversupply Concerns


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(Bloomberg) — Oil declined for a fifth day as near-record US exports added to concerns that increased supply will outweigh pledges by Saudi Arabia that OPEC+ will deliver on its planned production cuts.

West Texas Intermediate fell toward $72 a barrel, after erasing more than 7% over the prior four sessions, and is headed for its longest slump since February. Global benchmark Brent was above $77. Exports from the US are nearing a record 6 million barrels a day, flooding the global market with oil. 

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Crude has fallen every day since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies last week said they would trim supply, amid doubts over how fully the voluntary cuts will be carried out. Futures have dropped by almost a quarter from a peak in late September on concern increased supply from outside the group will outstrip demand growth. 

Analysts have highlighted the group’s ballooning spare capacity, saying traders needed to see evidence of the cuts’ actual impact before the market will price in tighter balances. 

In another sign of healthy supply, inventories both across the US and at the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil storage hub rose last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Official data will follow later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said OPEC+ could take further measures if last week’s agreement isn’t enough to balance the oil market. Novak spoke a day before he is set to join President Vladimir Putin on a visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Reflecting the weakness, Saudi Arabia slashed its official selling prices to Asia by the most since February. The price cuts mark a concession that nearby markets have weakened amid surging supply from producers outside of OPEC+, with low-sulfur crudes going at especially cheap prices thanks in part to strong US exports.

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financialpost.com