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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX crude, products shoot higher with stock draws

HOUSTON, March 21, 2018 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products rose dramatically early Wednesday after government figures showed a decrease in inventories. NYMEX gasoline was over $2/gallon for the first time in recent memory.

Total domestic product demand remained very strong, up 4.9%, and exports were healthy as well. Weekly gasoline inventories fell again and are below last year at this time, although they are still near the upper limit of the average range, per the government data.

As of 10 am CDT, April NYMEX WTI was up $1.19/bbl to $64.73/bbl; April gasoline rose 4.12 cpg to 200.71 cpg; and March diesel increased 4.53 cpg to 188.38 cpg.

On January 2, NYMEX RBOB settled at $1.7631 cpg.

Crude inventories fall 2.6 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ended March 16 showed a 2.6 million barrel decrease in commercial crude inventories to 428.3 million (“in the lower half of the average range,” per the EIA).

Domestic crude oil production was put at 10.407 million b/d, up 28,000 b/d for the week, and up 1.278 million b/d versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were off 508,000 b/d to 7.1 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.5 million b/d, down 4.8% compared with last year at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 564,000 b/d, down from 604,000 b/d last week; for the same period last year, the figure was 325,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 122,000 b/d, down from 223,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 127,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand rises 4.9%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 20.5 million b/d, up 4.9% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 1.7 million barrels to 243.1 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range”), and 400,000 barrels below last year. Gasoline demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 1.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 131 million barrels ("in the lower half of the average range”), lower by 2 million barrels compared with last week, and 24.3 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 3.9 million b/d, down 4.5% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 2.1 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 36.8 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 2.1 million barrels on the week, and lower by 7.6 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 16.8 million b/d, higher by 410,000 b/d, to 91.7% of capacity, higher by 1.7 percentage points. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 2.8 percentage points to 92.6%.

Also, net exports of all products were put 3.136 million b/d, off 29,000 b/d for the week, still a bullish number. The US typically needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

Total gasoline production came in at 9.932 million b/d. Distillate demand was 3.9 million b/d, with production at 4.503 million b/d.

Crude exports rise 75,000 barrels

Exports of crude oil were 1.573 million b/d, up from 1.498 million b/d last week; one year ago the figure was 550,000 b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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