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NYMEX crude and products higher; crude production lower, gasoline demand up

HOUSTON, March 9, 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 on the week was essentially flat, however, but still down compared with last year.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel and refiners are running at relatively low levels. Exports of products were strong, perhaps a bullish sign.

As of 9:57 am CST, April NYMEX WTI was up $1.50/bbl to $38/bbl, April gasoline was up 6.06 cpg to 144.84 cpg and April diesel rose 3.63 cpg to 123.63 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration weekly statistics for the week ending March 2 showed a 3.9 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 521.9 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.078 million b/d, up 1,000 b/d for the week, but down 288,000 b/d versus the same period last year.

This is the first week that crude production has not fallen after three weeks of decreases. Still, production is lower than last year.

Imports of crude were down 244,000 b/d to 8 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports have averaged 8 million b/d, an increase of 12% compared to last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.9 million b/d, up 1.3% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline inventories were down 4.5 million barrels to 250.5 million (still “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 7% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fell 1.1 million barrels to 162.5 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 18.8% to 3.2 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories were off 0.7 million barrels to 62.3 million, still 8.6 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 15.9 million b/d, up 59,000 b/d compared to the previous week.

Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 0.8% on the week, put at 89.1 % of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs were up 0.3% to 88.6%.

Net exports of all products were put at 2.44 million b/d, down 24,000 for the week, still a bullish number for products as the US needs to export products to keep inventories in 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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