Positive update on oil inventories in the US pulled WTI above the key level of $ 45, however, prices have been moving in a narrow box as OPEC is dragging its feet on key output decision:

EIA data unexpectedly indicated US crude oil inventories declined by 679 thousand barrels. Stocks at Cushing decreased by 317 thousand. Drawdown in inventories was an unexpected outcome which produced some upside in the market as it came against the backdrop of an increase in oil imports and a decrease in refinery utilization rate, indicating that increased oil exports in the reporting week made up for this decline. The data showed that oil exports from the US surged by 625 thousand bpd to 3.5 million bpd, which indirectly indicates a rapid recovery in demand from foreign refineries.

OPEC is making an important decision today about output cuts. Initially, the decision was supposed to be made on December 1, but disagreements arose among the participants and it was decided to postpone the meeting. The market is leaning in favor of a positive outcome of the meeting, but in my opinion, OPEC will opt for balanced solution because recent economic data around the world indicates brisk recovery and oil producing nations may be reluctant to miss this demand opportunity.

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