ANKARA

Oil prices dropped on Thursday with forecasts of a buildup in US crude inventories that investors view as a decline in US crude demand.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $40.75 per barrel at 0608 GMT for a 0.09% decrease after closing Wednesday at $40.79 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $37.95 a barrel at the same time for a 0.26% decrease after ending the previous session at $38.05 per barrel.

Late Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced its estimate of a rise of 3 million barrels in US crude oil inventories relative to the market expectation was 1.4 million-barrel draw.

If crude stocks increase in line with API’s expectation, this would signal that crude demand is falling in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer, and as a result, push prices lower.

Oil prices were also pushed down due to a rise in crude inventories as a result of the refinery maintenance season when refiners shut down their plants for repair during fall or spring.

On Wednesday, the EIA revised up its Brent crude oil price forecast for 2020 by $0.48 per barrel in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report for September.

The international benchmark is now expected to average $41.90 per barrel this year, up from its previous estimate of $41.42 a barrel.

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