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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX WTI shoots higher on 5th straight crude stock fall

HOUSTON, October 5, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed early Wednesday after government figures showed a draw in crude stocks, but a small build in gasoline.

This is the fifth week in a row that crude stocks have fallen. However, inventories still are “historically high” for this time of year, per the EIA, even though levels are at their lowest since the week ended Jan 22. The US remains long in gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude inputs fell slightly nationwide.

Domestic gasoline demand remains robust and export volumes of products were good.

As of 9:57 am CST, November NYMEX WTI rose $1.07/bbl to $49.76/bbl; November gasoline was down 0.18 cpg at 149.78 cpg and November diesel increased 3.19 cpg to 158.63 cpg.

Crude inventories down 3 million bbls

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending September 30 showed a 3 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 499.7 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.467 million b/d, down 30,000 b/d for the week, and 705,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were down 125,000 b/d to 7.7 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 10 million b/d, an increase of 10.1% compared to last year at this time.

Essentially, domestic crude production is lower, but imports have replaced at least some of the lost barrels.

Gasoline imports up 1 million bbls

Gasoline imports were 1.0 million b/d up from 778,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 543,000 b/d.  Distillate imports were 103,000 b/d, down from 133,000 b/d from last week and from 111,000 b/d the previous year (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 19.9 million b/d, up 3.0% versus the same period last year. 

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 0.2 million barrels at 227.4 million barrels (still “above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 3.5 million barrels over last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 3.0% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fell 2.4 million barrels to 160.7 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 11.6 million barrels over last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 8.9% to 3.6 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane stocks rise 0.7 million bbls

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 104 million barrels, up 0.7 million barrels on the week, and up 3.7 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.0 million b/d, down 300,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 1.8% on the week, put at 88.3% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were down 1.0% to 89.4%.

Also, net exports of all products were put 2.592 million b/d, down 222,000 b/d for the week, but still a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While gasoline demand was put at 9.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.988 million b/d. Distillate demand was 3.6 million b/d, but production was 4.713 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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