Crude oil prices are facing tough economic headwinds. Several recent economic reports have shown that not only is demand for the fuel expected to remain low this year, but supplies of crude oil in the United States are well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year. On Wednesday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global crude demand in 2013 by 80,000 barrels a day, while a report issued by the United States Department of Energy’s statistical arm, the Energy Information Administration, said that crude inventories increased by 2.7 million barrels last week.
Both reports had negative implications for the crude oil market, but while prices fell after the IEA announcement, West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose slightly on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the inventory figures were released.
According to IAE, the increasing production from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, rising crude output in the United States, and sluggish demand have helped keep oil prices below $100 per barrel since May 2012.