By April 5, 2017 Read More →

US crude stocks increase, gasoline and distillate inventories fall: EIA

US crude stocks

US crude stocks increased by 1.6 million barrels last week, surprising analysts who were anticipating a fall of 435,000 barrels. Getty Images photo.

US crude stocks up by 1.6 million barrels

US crude stocks rose last week, surprising analysts who anticipated a fall in inventories. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillates stocks did fall, but the drop was less than expected, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

According to the EIA, crude inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels to a record high of 535.5 million barrels in the week ending March 31.  Analysts had expected stockpiles to drop 435,000 barrels.

Brent futures rose slightly in trading on Wednesday, ending up 19 cents to $54.36.  US crude increased by 12 cents, ending the day at $51.15.

The EIA reports the Cushing, Oklahoma deliver hub for WTI, inventories rose 1.4 million barrels to a record high of 69.1 million barrels.  US Gulf Coast inventories also increased, up by 2.7 million barrels, to 280.9 million barrels.


“It was a solidly bearish report, especially in relation to expectations,” John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital told Reuters.

While refined products inventories fell, the decrease in inventory was about half of what analysts were expecting in a poll by Reuters.

Gasoline stocks fell by 618,000 barrels, compared to analysts’ expectations of a drop of 1.4 million barrels.  Gasoline inventories have been declining recently, and are now at lower levels than this time last year, however, they remain unseasonably high.

Following the release of the weekly EIA report, gasoline futures turned negative, with US RBOB futures falling 0.3 per cent to $1.7170/gallon.

Distillate stockpiles, including diesel and heating oil, fell by 536,000 barrels, well below the analysts’ expectations of a 1.0 million barrel drop.

“The pace of decline in refined product inventories ebbed and will likely reverse with the increased refinery activity,” Kilduff said.

With refineries restarting from spring turnarounds, refinery crude runs rose 203,000 b/d and utilization rates rose 1.5 per cent to 90.8 per cent of total capacity.

The EIA reported that US crude imports were mostly flat, rising 61,000 b/d and exports continued their volatile trend, falling 575,000 b/d from the previous week’s 1.09 million b/d.


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