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Crude, refined products prices jump on crude inventory draw, import decrease
HOUSTON, December 23, 2015 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude futures prices shot higher Wednesday after government figures showed a draw in crude inventories and a drop in crude imports.
As of 10:05 am CST, February NYMEX WTI was up $1.42/bbl to $37.62/bbl, February gasoline was up 6.06 cpg to 124.65 cpg and February diesel rose 3.93 cpg to 115.98 cpg.
The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending December 18 showed a 5.9 million bbl decrease in crude inventories, to 484.8 million bbls. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.179 million b/d, up only 3,000 b/d for the week, but up almost 52,000 b/d vs the same period last year.
Imports of crude up were down 986,000 b/d to 7.3 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports were 7.9 million b/d compared to the same period last year, an increase of 3.4% compared to the year-ago period.
Total product demand over the past four weeks was put a 20 million b/d, down 0.8% versus the same period last year. US refinery inputs were 16.5 milllion b/d, down 143,000 bbls compared to last week.
Gasoline inventories were up 1.1 million bbl, to 220.5 million bbl (“in the lower half of the average range,” per the EIA). Gasoline demand over the past four weeks showed a 0.7% increase compared to the same time last year to 9.3 million b/d.
Distillate stocks were down 0.7 million bbls to 151.3 million bbls (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 7.4% to 3.6 million b/d compared to the same period last year. It has been a warm end of the year so far, which affects heating oil demand, but diesel exports have slackened as well.
Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were lower by 0.6% on the week, put at 91.3% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs were up 0.4% to 94.1%.
Exports of all products were put at 2.259 million b/d, up 223,000 b/d for the week, a somewhat surprising figure given the sense in the market that exports – of diesel especially – are getting more difficult for US refiners. -- Robert Sharp
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