The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 387.6 million barrels, still well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.
Total gasoline inventories decreased by 600,000 barrels last week and remain above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged more than 8.4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks - a drop of about 3.3% compared with the same period a year ago.
Distillate inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels last week and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged about 3.9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down about 3.3% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 4.5 million barrels a day last week, which was down by about 300,000 barrels a day when compared with the prior week.
The American Petroleum Institute last night reported an inventory decrease of 6.7 million barrels in crude supplies last week, together with an increase of 253,000 barrels in gasoline supplies and a rise of 1.3 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a build of 1.5 million barrels in crude inventories.
Crude prices were down more than 1% before the EIA report at around $87.80 a barrel and fell by about $0.40 immediately following the report.
For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 7.4 million barrels a day, a decrease of about 289,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 86.3% of capacity, with daily input of 15.1 million barrels a day, about 40,000 barrels a day less than the previous week.
The sharp decline in crude oil prices over the past several days comes in the wake of soft expectations for global economic growth and the general sell-off in commodities.
The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is down about 1.6%, at $31.25 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $40.29.
The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is down 1.3%, at $54.40, in a 52-week range of $45.13 to $65.86.
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