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POST DOE REPORT: Crude inventories way up; production is again lower

HOUSTON, March 23, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were lower early Wednesday after government figures that again showed a huge increase in crude inventories.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel, refiners are running at relatively low levels and gasoline demand is very good. Exports of products remains strong.

As of 9:50 am CST, May NYMEX WTI was down $1.11/bbl to 40.34/bbl; April gasoline was down 1.38 cpg to 148.33 cpg; and April diesel was up 1.11 cpg to 121.78 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending March 18 showed a 9.4 million barrel increase in crude inventories, to 532.5 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.038 million b/d, down 30,000 for the week, but down 384,000 versus the same period last year.

This, is the fifth week in the past six that crude production has fallen.

Imports of crude were down 691,000 b/d, to 8.4 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.1 million b/d, an increase of 11.6% compared to 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 4.6 million barrels, to 245.1 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 7% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks rose 0.9 million barrels, to 162.3 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 8% to 3.6 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories were down 0.2 million barrels, to 62.2 million, 7.2 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.8 million b/d, down 176,000 compared with the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 0.6% on the week, put at 88.4% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), runs were up 0.22% to 90.8%.

Net exports of all products were put at 2.515 million b/d, up 84,000 for the week, a bullish 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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