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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures higher after crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, January 18, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up early Thursday despite government figures that showed an increase in crude stocks and a build in gasoline.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were lower, especially in the Gulf Coast; exports of products were lower but still healthy.

As of 10:33 am CST, February NYMEX WTI rose $0.46/bbl to $51.54/bbl; February gasoline was up 0.29 cpg to 155.16 cpg; and February diesel was up 1.75 cpg to 162.65/gal.

Crude inventories up 2.3m barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending January 13 showed a 2.3 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 485.5 million barrels (“at the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.944 million b/d, down 2,000 b/d for the week, and 291,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were down 674,000 b/d to about 8.4 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, an increase of 4.5% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports down to 588,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 588,000 b/d, down from 683,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 512,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 152,000 b/d, up from 103,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 185,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.3 million b/d, up 0.1% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 6.0 million barrels to 246.4 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), and 1.5 million barrels over last year. Demand was 8.6 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 2.4% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fall 1m barrels

Distillate stocks were put at 169.1 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range”), 1 million barrels below last week, and 4.5 million barrels above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.5 million b/d, up 6.6% compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 72.2 million barrels (still “in the upper half of the average range”), down 7.4 million barrels on the week, and lower by 17.7 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.5 million b/d, down 639,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were off 1.9% on the week, put at 90.7% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 4.4% to 92%.

Exports 817,000 b/d lower

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.333 million b/d, lower by 817,000 b/d for the week, still a fairly bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.6 million b/d, total gasoline production came in 8.953 million b/d. Distillate demand was 3.5 million b/d, but production was 4.713 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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