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NYMEX crude climbs as US reports drop in production, gain in inventories

HOUSTON, March 16, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were higher early Wednesday despite government figures that showed an increase in crude inventories, but a draw in products. Crude production on the week was lower, and was down compared with last year.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refiners are running at relatively low levels as exports of products remain strong.

As of 9:50 am CDT, April NYMEX WTI was up $1.17/bbl to 37.51/bbl. April gasoline was up 0.56 cpg to 141.38 cpg and April diesel was up 3.65 cpg to 121.42 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ended March 11 showed a 1.3 million barrel increase in crude inventories, to 523.2 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.068 million b/d, down 10,000 for the week, but down 351,000 versus the same period last year.

This, is the fourth week in the past five that crude production has fallen.

Imports of crude were down 355,000 b/d, to 7.7 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8 million b/d, an increase of 10% compared with last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.7 million b/d, up 1.8% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 0.7 million barrels, to 249.7 million (still “well above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Demand was 9.4 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 6.4% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fell 1.1 million barrels, to 161.3 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 7.7% to 3.7 million b/d compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories were up 0.2 million barrels, to 62.35 million, still 8.2 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 16 million b/d, up 85,000 compared with the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 0.1% on the week, put at 89% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), runs were up 2% to 90.6%.

Net exports of all products were put at 2.431 million b/d, down 13,00 for the week, but still a healthy number for products. The US needs to export products to keep inventories under control. -- Robert Sharp

To keep up with the day's news and prices in refined products, gasoline blendstocks and refinery chemicals, click here to check out the PCW Daily Refinery Focus

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