The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 393.8 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.
Total gasoline inventories increased by 2.7 million barrels last week and are now above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the EIA's measure of consumption) averaged 8.8 million barrels a day over the past four weeks - a drop of about 0.4% compared with the same period a year ago.
Distillate inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels last week and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged about 4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 9.2% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 4.7 million barrels a day last week, lower by about 100,000 barrels a day compared with the prior week.
The American Petroleum Institute last night reported an inventory increase of 9 million barrels in crude supplies last week. Platts estimated a no change in crude inventories, a rise of 1 million barrels in gasoline inventories and a rise of 1.4 million barrels in distillate inventories.
Crude prices were up about 0.4% before the EIA report at around $95.30 a barrel and rose to around $96, up 0.5%, shortly after the report was released.
For the past week, crude imports averaged less than 7.9 million barrels a day, up about 582,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 87.5% of capacity, with daily input of 15.2 million barrels a day, about 300,000 barrels a day less than the previous week.
This week's increase in crude inventories is consistent with recent reports from OPEC, the IEA and the EIA itself that demand for crude is declining. The rise in gasoline inventories could indicate also that gasoline pump prices are preparing to fall. Refinery throughput fell slightly last week, most likely due to outages in the Midwest.
The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up 0.6%, at $33.98 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $37.17.
The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up less than 0.1%, at $56.16, in a 52-week range of $45.13 to $65.86.
The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is up 0.75%, at $79.00 in a 52-week range of $63.00 to $88.71.
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