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NYMEX crude and products mixed as inventories rise, crude production falls

HOUSTON, February 18, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Thursday after government figures that again showed an increase in crude inventories, as well as in products. Crude production fell.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline and diesel; refiners are running harder but still at relatively low levels and, exports of products were down.

As of 10:28 am CST, March NYMEX WTI was up $0.38/bbl to $31.04/bbl, March gasoline was down 1.94 cpg to 98.40 cpg and March diesel fell 0.41 cpg to 108.31 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending February 12 showed a 2.1 million barrel increase in crude inventories, to 504.1 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.135 million b/d, down 51,000 b/d for the week, and 145,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Crude production is off its highs; some see this as the effect of lower prices finally kicking in.

Imports of crude were up 795,000 b/d to 7.9 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.7 million b/d, an increase of 5.8% compared to last year at this time.

The EIA noted that those crude inventories are historically high for this time of year.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.8 million b/d, down 0.2% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were up 3 million barrels, to 258.7 million (“well above the upper limit of the average range," per the EIA). Demand was 8.9 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 3% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks were up 1.4 million barrels to 162.4 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 15.6% to 3.5 million b/d compared with the same period last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.8 million b/d, up 338,000 b/d compared to the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 2.2%% on the week, put at 88.3 % of capacity, still a low percentage. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs were up 3.1% to 87.8%, also a very low number.

Net exports of all products were put at 1.653 million b/d, down 393,000 b/d for the week, a number that is still fairly bullish. The US needs to export products to keep inventories in line. -- Robert Sharp

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