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DOE WRAP: NYMEX crude, products higher with oil stock drop

HOUSTON, February 27, 2019 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products were higher Wednesday, after government figures showed a substantial drop in crude inventories.

As of 11:53 am CST, March NYMEX WTI was higher by $1.80/bbl at $57.30/bbl; March gasoline rose 3.27 cpg to 175.70 cpg, and March diesel increased 3.39 cpg to 203.20 cpg.

The fall in crude stocks was the first decline in six weeks, and the largest since July. Also, crude imports dropped dramatically.

Crude inventories fall 8.6 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ended February 22 showed an 8.6 million barrel drop in commercial crude inventories to 445.9 million barrels (“3% above the five-year average” per the EIA).

Domestic crude oil production was put at 12.1 million b/d, up 100,000 for the week and 1.817 million higher versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were off 1.605 million b/d on the week to 5.9 million. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 6.7 million b/d, down 10.9% compared with last year at this time.

Total gasoline imports were put at 473,000 b/d, up from 420,000 last week; for the same period last year the figure was 446,000. Distillate imports were 331,000 b/d, down from 431,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 207,000 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 2.1%

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 20.8 million b/d, up 2.1% versus the same time last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were lower by 1.9 million barrels to 254.9 million (“3% above the five-year average”), and 3.1 million above last year. Gasoline demand was 8.9 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 1.5% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 138.4 million barrels (“2% below the five-year average”), 300,000 lower on the week, and 400,000 above last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.3 million b/d, up 0.5% compared with the same period last year.

Propane stocks fall 1.2 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 53.4 million barrels (“11% above the five-year average”), lower by 1.2 million on the week and up 10.7 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs on the week averaged 15.9 million b/d, higher by 179,000 b/d to 87.1% of capacity. In PADD 3 (the Gulf Coast) runs were up 1.3% percentage points to 89.1% of capacity.

Net exports of all products were 3.359 million b/d, lower by 248,000 on the week, but still a bullish number.

The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable: while domestic gasoline demand was put at 8.9 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.553 million; distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, production at 4.816 million.

Crude exports drop 1.357 million barrels

Exports of crude oil were 2.558 million b/d, lower by 1.357 million on the week; one year ago the figure was 1.445 million. -- Robert Sharp

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