US crude stocks drop less than expected-EIA

US crude stocks, gasoline, distillate stocks decreased last week

US crude stocks

US crude stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels last week.  Analysts were expecting a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.  NPR.org photo.

June 2 (Reuters) – US crude stocks fell last week, though the decline was less than forecast, while gasoline and distillate stocks decreased, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.

The slight decrease came as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries concluded a meeting in Vienna, at which it failed to agree on output policy.

“Markets are ‘long in the tooth’ here,” said Donald Morton, energy trader at Herbert J. Sims & Co. in Fairfield, Connecticut. “They are tired and now without anything significant from OPEC, we will move to a more demand-driven environment.”

Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 704,000 barrels, EIA said.

Both U.S. crude and Brent stemmed losses after data was released. U.S. crude was down 0.45 percent, or 23 cents a barrel, to $48.78 at 11:17 a.m. ET, after earlier hitting a low of $47.97, while Brent fell 0.16 cents to $49.56 a barrel.

Refinery crude runs fell by 73,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.1 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 157,000-barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which includes diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels, versus expectations for a decline of 891,000 barrels, the EIA said.

U.S. crude imports rose last week by 425,000 barrels per day. The increase was seen across all PADDs, except PADD 2, said Dominic Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in New York.

“Overall, I would rate the report as slightly bullish as total combined stocks of crude oil and refined products declined by 2.7 million barrels.”

(Reporting by David Gaffen, additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault and Barani Krishnan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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