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NYMEX crude and products mixed as EIA reports similarly mixed inventory data

HOUSTON, February 24, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed early Wednesday after government figures showed an increase in crude inventories, but a draw in products. Crude production again fell, however, perhaps significantly.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refiners are running at relatively low levels, while exports of products were down.

As of 9:55 am CST, April NYMEX WTI was down $0.51/bbl to $31.36/bbl, March gasoline was up 1.72 cpg to 98.35 cpg and March diesel rose 0.38 cpg to 102.59 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending February 19 showed a 3.5 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 507.6 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.102 million b/d, down 33,000 b/d for the week and 103,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

This is the second straight week crude production has decreased. While it is off its highs, some might see this as the effect of lower prices finally kicking in.

Crude imports down

Imports of crude were down 117,000 b/d to 7.8 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.7 million b/d, an increase of 7% 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 19.6 million b/d, down 0.2% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 2.2 million barrels, to 256.5 million (“well above the upper limit of the average range," per the EIA). Demand was 9.1 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 5.2% from the same period last year.

Distillate inventories gain

Distillate stocks were drew 1.7 million barrels to 160.7 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 16% to 3.5 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories were off 3.7 million barrels to 66.7 million, still 6.5 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.7 million b/d, off 163,000 b/d compared to the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 0.9%% on the week, put at 87.3 % of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs were down 1.6% to 92.9%, also a very low number.

Net exports of all products were put at 1.967 million b/d, up 314,000 b/d for the week, a number that is bullish as the US needs to export products to keep inventories in line. -- Robert Sharp

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