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Crude gains as supplies fall to more than 3 year low
HOUSTON, September 12, 2018 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products were higher Wednesday after government figures showed a sharp drop in oil inventories to the lowest level in three and a half years.
As of 1:30 pm CDT, October NYMEX WTI settled higher by $1.12/bbl at $70.37/bbl; October gasoline rose 2.06 cpg to 203.48 cpg, and October diesel increased 0.57 cpg to 225.77 cpg.
Diesel and gasoline stocks built, and look well supplied; refinery runs remain high. No doubt the threat of a tropical storm in Corpus Christi gas gave a boost to product prices.
Crude inventories drop 5.3 million barrels
The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ended September 7 showed a 5.3 million barrel decrease in commercial crude inventories to 396.2 million barrels (“3% below the five-year average” per the EIA). It was the lowest level since the week ended February 13, 2015.
Domestic crude oil production was put at 10.9 million b/d, down 100,000 on the week and up 1.547 million versus the same period last year.
Imports of crude were up 123,000 b/d to 7.6 million on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, up 0.2% compared with last year at this time.
Total gasoline imports were put at 1.053 million b/d, up from 988,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 556,000. Distillate imports were 50,000 b/d, down from 286,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 136,000 b/d (typically the US imports the greatest volume of products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).
Total product demand rises 5.1%
Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 21.5 million b/d, up by 5.1% versus the same time last year.
Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 1.3 million barrels to 235.9 million (“8% above the five-year average”), and 17.6 million above last year. Gasoline demand was 9.7 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 1.2% from the same period last year.
Distillate stocks totaled 139.3 million barrels (“3% below the five-year average”), up 6.2 million on the week, and 5.3 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4 million b/d, off 0.2% compared with the same period last year.
Propane stocks rise 1.2 million barrels
Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 74.6 million barrels (“11% below the five-year average”), up 1.2 million on the week and down 7.5 million versus last year.
Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 17.9 million b/d, up, 210,000 b/d to 97.6% of capacity. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 1.4% percentage points to 98.6% of capacity.
Net exports of all products were 1.932 million b/d, up 181,000 on the week, a moderately bearish number.
The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable: while domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.7 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.384 million; distillate demand was 4 million b/d, production at 5.536 million.
Crude exports fall 624,000 barrels
Exports of crude oil were 1.828 million b/d, higher by 320,000 on the week; one year ago the figure was 774,000. -- Robert Sharp