Crude oil prices seen steady in Asia

A Grab taxi in SingaporeA Grab taxi in Singapore

Crude oil prices are seen steady in Asia on Tuesday ahead of weekly industry figures on U.S. stockpiles.

ICE Brent crude prices were last quoted up 0.62 percent to US$77.31 a barrel in after hours trade with NYMEX West Texas Intermediate flat. Brent crude oil settled up 33 cents to US$77.37 a barrel, while WTI ended down 21 cents to US$67.54 a barrel.

A consensus forecast by FocusEconomics saw wide divergence in views for the fourth quarter.

“FocusEconomics panelists see prices averaging US$73.9 per barrel in Q4 2018, before slipping to an average of US$71.6 per barrel in Q4 2019. Five of our panelists upwardly adjusted their Q4 2018 forecasts compared to last month. Meanwhile, 24 forecasters kept their projections unchanged, and seven cut their forecast,” the company wrote in a note to clients.

“The spread between the minimum and the maximum oil price forecasts remains relatively large, with numerous developments simultaneously affecting the oil markets in recent weeks. The panelist forecast range for Q4 2018 runs from a minimum of US$64.0 per barrel to a maximum of US$82.0 per barrel.”

The American Petroleum Institute is due to report weekly estimates of U.S. crude and refined product inventories at 4:30 pm U.S. EDT on Tuesday. Initial estimates see crude stocks down by 750,000 barrels, distillate supplies up by 1.750 million barrels and gasoline inventories up by 1.462 million barrels, according to Investing.com.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release official figures on Wednesday at 10:30 am U.S. EDT.