Weekly data produced by the US Energy Information Administration showed crude oil stockpiles climbing by close to 5 million barrels during the latest reading, bringing the grand total to 533.10 million last week. Besides easily outpacing the consensus expectation of an increase of 2.80 million barrels, stockpiles have risen to a fresh record. A deal between OPEC and some other major producers to cut output by 1.80 million barrels per day until June has done little to deplete the bulging global oil inventories.
According to several leading media outlets, OPEC is leaning toward extending the cuts beyond June. However, analysts remain sceptical considering OPEC has broadly delivered on its pledged reductions, while non-OPEC countries, which are yet to fully comply with commitments, remain the major source of the spurt in supplies. May WTI futures have reversed from the lows of around $47.10, and are trading at $48.20 per barrel.