Friday, October 8, 2010

Bloomberg Survey: Crude Oil May Fall Next Week as U.S. Inventories Climb

Crude oil may decline next week as U.S. inventories increase and fuel consumption drops, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Seventeen of 33 analysts, or 52 percent, forecast crude oil will decline through Oct. 15. Twelve respondents, or 36 percent, predicted an increase, and four estimated prices will be little changed. Last week, 42 percent said crude would climb.

U.S. crude oil supplies increased 3.09 million barrels to 360.9 million last week, leaving stockpiles 13 percent higher than the five year average for the period, an Energy Department report on Oct. 6 showed. Fuel consumption dropped 6.4 percent to 18.5 million barrels a day, the biggest weekly decline since Feb. 27, 2004, according to the department.

“Inventories are higher than a year ago, even when adjusting for demand, yet prices are a good $10 higher,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst with Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “There’s just not the demand to justify the recent rally in prices.”

Oil in New York touched $84.43 a barrel yesterday, the highest level since May 4, before retreating 1.9 percent to settle at $81.67. Crude oil for November delivery has increased 0.1 percent so far this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 17 percent from a year ago. The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 47 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.

Bloomberg’s survey of oil analysts and traders, conducted each Thursday, asks for an assessment of whether crude oil futures are likely to rise, fall or remain neutral in the coming
week. The results were:

                                  RISE         NEUTRAL      FALL
                                    12                  4                 17



Bloomberg reporter Mark Shenk can be contacted at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

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