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Crude, refined products futures hit by report of inventory builds

HOUSTON, December 2, 2015 (PCW) -- NYMEX futures prices were down Wednesday after government figures showed builds in crude and product inventories.

As of 9:50 am Jan NYMEX WTI was down $0.84/bbl to $41.01/bbl, Jan gasoline fell 3.68 cpg to 132.62 cpg and Jan diesel was down 1.97 cpg to 134.93 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly statistics for the week ending November 27 showed a 1.2 million bbl increase in crude inventories to 489.4 million bbls. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.2 million b/d, up 37,000 b/d for the week and up almost 119,000 b/d compared to the same period last year.

Imports of crude rose 414,000 b/d to 7.7 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports increased 0.5% compared to the same period last year.

The EIA noted (as it does every week) that those crude inventories are among the highest recorded in the last 80 years.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.6 million b/d, down 1.6% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were up 100,000 bbl to 216.9 million bbl, a very high number. Gasoline demand over the past four weeks of 9.2 million b/d showed a 0.6% decrease compared with the same time last year.

Distillate stocks were up 3.1 million bbl, to 144.4 million bbl. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.8 million b/d, 0.9% below  the same period last year.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were higher by 2.5 percentage points on the week at 94.5% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs rose 2.6 percentage points to 95.9%.

Overall, demand for products looks strong, but shows signs of topping out for both gasoline and distillate. Crude production, which many expected to fall, is still higher than last year. -- Robert Sharp

To keep up with the day's news and prices in refined products, gasoline blendstocks and refinery chemicals, click here to check out the PCW Daily Refinery Focus