Today saw further anecdotal evidence of speculative crude oil buying. A senior manager at the Port of Rotterdam told Bloomberg that oil inventories were the highest he had seen since he began work there in 1985. Rotterdam can hold 75 million barrels. Whilst there are also reports of tankers at anchor along the UK’s southern coast, supporting the idea that land storage is filled close to capacity.
Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Agency reported US crude inventories rose for the 8th straight week. As the chart shows, these are well above the normal range, and 18% above this time last year. EIA also said total US oil product demand was down 6.8% in the past 4 weeks versus 2008. Refinery operating rates slipped to only 82.7%.