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NYMEX crude and products rise as crude stocks surge, but production falls

HOUSTON, March 2, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were higher early Wednesday after government figures showed an increase in crude inventories, but a draw in products. Crude production again fell.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel; refiners are running at relatively low levels and exports of products were up.

As of 10:22 am CST, April NYMEX WTI was up $0.45/bbl to $34.85/bbl, April gasoline climbed 2.29 cpg to 132.64 cpg and April diesel rose 1.91 cpg to 111.86 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ended February 26 showed a whopping 10.4 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 518 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.077 million b/d, down 25,000 b/d for the week and 247,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

This is the third straight week that crude production has decreased. Some will see this as the effect of lower prices finally kicking in.

Imports of crude were up 490,000 b/d to 8.3 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.8 million b/d, an increase of 7.2% compared with last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.7 million b/d, down 1.1% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 1.5 million barrels, to 255 million (“well above the upper limit of the average range," per the EIA). Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 6.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks rose 2.9 million barrels to 163.6 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 18.8% to 3.4 million b/d compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories were off 3.7 million barrels to 63.1 million, still 8 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.9 million b/d, dow  167,000 b/d compared with the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were flat on the week, put at 88.3 % of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs were up 2% to 88.3%.

Net exports of all products were put at 2.468 million b/d, up 501,000 b/d for the week, a number that is bullish for product; the US needs to export products to keep inventories in line. -- Robert Sharp

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