U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate closed down 1.35% today (to $67.83 a barrel) and international benchmark Brent crude tumbled 2.32% to $72.49 on bad news from the supply side and worries about the demand side.
On the supply side a report from the U.S Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories up 3.8 million barrels last week. This data point follows on a big drop in inventories the week before that and a big surprise build in inventories in the report before that.
Also on the supply side Russia and Saudi Arabia announced increases in production. Saudi Arabia increased production by 230,000 barrels a day in July to 10.65 million barrels a day. That’s just below the all-time production peak hit in 2016. Russia increased its July production to just below the post-Soviet era record set in October 2016 of about 11.21 million barrels a day.
On the demand side, worries about increased trade tensions between the United States and China led to worries about a drop in global oil demand.
Today’s price for crude is the lowest in more than five weeks.