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POST DOE REPORT: Crude inventories up; production is lower

HOUSTON, March 30, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were higher early Wednesday despite government figures that again showed a huge increase in crude inventories; products stocks were lower.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel, refiners are increasing runs, gasoline demand is good and exports of products remain strong.

As of 9:50 am cst, May NYMEX WTI was up $1.29/bbl to 39.57/bbl; May gasoline was up 1.58 cpg to 149.66 cpg; and May diesel was up 3.94 cpg to 120.67 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ended March 25 showed a 2.3 million barrel increase in crude inventories, to 534.8 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.022 million b/d, down 16,000 for the week, but down 364,000 versus the same period last year.

Declining Production

This, is the sixth week in the past seven that crude production has fallen.

Imports of crude were down 636,000 b/d, to 7.7 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.0 million b/d, an increase of 9.8% compared to last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.5 million b/d, up 2.2% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 2.5 million barrels, to 242.6 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 5% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fell 1.1 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 3.4% to 3.7 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were up 0.6 million barrels, to 62.8 million, 5.5 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 16.2 million b/d, down 414,000 compared to the previous week. However, inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 2% on the week, put at 90.4% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), runs were up 3.6% to 94.4%.

Net exports of all products were put at 2.663 million b/d, up 148,000 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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