Crude Oil Supply Slides Again, Halts Falling Futures Price

153715598The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories dropped by 2.8 million barrels last week, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 364.2 million barrels, and remain in the upper half of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels last week, but remain above the upper limit of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied (the EIA's measure of consumption) averaged about 9.1 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — up by 3.1% from the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels last week and are now near the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged 4 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 12% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 4.1 million barrels a day last week, up about 1 million barrels a day compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute last night reported that crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels last week, together with a drop of 900,000 barrels in gasoline supplies and a decline of 700,000 barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a drop of 2.6 million barrels in crude inventories, a rise of 800,000 barrels in gasoline inventories and a rise of 1.9 million barrels in distillate inventories.

Crude prices were down about 0.6% before the EIA report at around $106.50 a barrel and climbed a bit to around $106.70 shortly after the report was released.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 8 million barrels a day, up about 327,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 92.3% of capacity, with daily input of 16 million barrels a day, about 200,000 barrels a day less than the previous week.

This marks the fourth straight week of a significant drop in crude stockpiles. But inventories remain quite high and gasoline supply is more than plentiful. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, a gallon of regular gasoline costs about $3.67, today compared with about $3.66 a week ago. Last month the price was $3.57 a gallon and one year ago the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.48.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is down 0.4%, at $37.94 in a 52-week range of $30.79 to $38.62.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up about 0.1%, at $62.03, in a 52-week range of $50.90 to $65.86.

The United States Brent Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: BNO) is down 0.8%, at $82.35 in a 52-week range of $72.68 to $88.71.


Filed under: Commodities & Metals Tagged: BNO, UGA, USO

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