MELBOURNE (Bloomberg) - Oil tumbled for a seventh day, extending declines from a six-year low, before US government data forecast to show crude stockpiles rose to a record in the world's biggest consumer.
Futures dropped as much as 2.4 per cent in New York. Crude inventories probably expanded by 4.4 million barrels through March 13 to 453.3 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before a report from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Industry data showed supplies increased by 10.5 million barrels last week.
US crude stockpiles have continued to climb, even as companies idle drill rigs to the fewest since 2011, bolstering speculation that a global glut that drove prices almost 50 per cent lower last year will persist. Options traders have become the most bearish in at least five years amid signs that rising supply may strain the nation's storage capacity.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery lost as much as $1.02 to US$42.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$42.53 at 9:06 a.m. Sydney time. The contract slid 42 cents to $43.46 Tuesday, the lowest close since March 2009. The volume of all futures traded was about 20 per cent above the 100-day average.
Brent for May settlement slipped 43 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to US$53.51 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of US$8.32 to WTI for the same month.