The American Petroleum Institute reported Wednesday a much larger-than-expected drop of 5.8 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended June 30, according to sources. Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group said the decline was a "delayed impact" from the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico last month. "The supply side is tightening," he said. The API data, which was released a day later than usual due to Tuesday's holiday, showed a fall of 5.7 million barrels in gasoline supplies, while inventories of distillates were up 400,000 barrels, sources said. Supply data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday morning. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts expect the EIA to report a decline of 1.6 million barrels in crude inventories. August crude was at $45.50 a barrel in electronic trading, up from the contract’s settlement of $45.13 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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