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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures rise after crude inventory decrease

HOUSTON, March 15, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up Wednesday after government figures showed a slight decrease in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were lower (especially in the Gulf Coast), and exports of products were healthy; gasoline demand is recovering. Crude imports were lower, perhaps significantly.

As of 9:58 am CDT, April NYMEX WTI rose $0.77/bbl to $48.49/bbl; April gasoline was increased 0.47 cpg to 158.82 cpg; and April diesel was up 1.61 cpg to 150.80 cpg.

Crude inventories are down

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ended March 10 showed an 0.2 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 528.2 million barrels. The previous week's total was a record. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.109 million b/d, up 21,000 for the week, and 41,000 higher versus the same period last year.

This is the first week in the last 10 that crude stocks have decreased.

Imports of crude were off 745,000 b/d to about 7.4 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.6 million b/d, a decrease of 4.4% compared with last year at this time.

Gasoline imports are higher

Gasoline imports were put at 572,000 b/d, up from 242,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 716,000. Distillate imports were 79,000, down from 266,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 258,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.8 million b/d, up 0.3% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 3.1 million barrels to 246.3 million (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA), 3.4 million below last year. Demand was 9.0 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 4.5% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks are lower

Distillate stocks totaled 157.3 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range”), off 4.2 million compared with last week, and 4 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.2 million b/d, up 13.4% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 45.1 million barrels (“in the middle of the average range”), down 0.8 million the previous week, and lower by 18.0 million versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 15.5 million b/d, down 20,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were down 0.8 percentage point on the week, to 85.1% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up down 2.9 percentage points to 85.9%.

Exports are slightly lower

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.815 million b/d, off 216.000 for the week, still a very bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.0 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.540 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 4.690 million. -- Robert Sharp

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