Crude reality: Oil glut Covid built all but gone on resurgent fuel demand
Crude inventories at lowest since January 2020, though China may reverse trend and start stockpiling
Global crude inventories that ballooned during the pandemic have shrunk to the lowest level in 20 months, as an economic rebound in top consumers China and the US drive a robust recovery in fuel demand.
About 2.97-billion barrels of crude oil were stored onshore globally as of September 5, the least since January 2020, before Covid-19 eviscerated demand, according to data analytics firm Kayrros. US stockpiles are at a two-year low, those in China are the smallest since September 2020, while inventories at the African hub of Saldanha Bay are at the lowest since April last year.
Oil consumption in the world’s top guzzlers has surpassed pre-pandemic levels and underpinned a red-hot rally in crude prices, though it’s faltered over the past couple of months due to the Delta variant of the virus. China’s depleted inventories also have some in the market predicting that the biggest crude importer will start replenishing its giant reserves again soon...