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NGLs Week is PetroChem Wire's comprehensive summary of price trends, upstream and downstream costs, operations news and supply/demand forecasts. The report contains everything you'll need to understand what's happening in the NGL markets.

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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures rise despite crude inventory increase

HOUSTON, March 29, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were up Wednesday despite government figures that showed an increase in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude inputs were higher (especially in the Gulf Coast), and exports of products were healthy; gasoline demand is recovering, but still below last year.

Crude imports were lower, but not significantly; domestic production has increased despite relatively low prices.

As of 10:17 am CDT, May NYMEX WTI was up $0.72/bbl to $49.09/bbl; May gasoline increased 3.42 cpg to 167.06 cpg; and May diesel rose 2.40 cpg to 154.37 cpg.

Crude inventories are 0.9 million barrels higher

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 17 showed a 0.9 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 534 million barrels  It was the twelfth consecutive weekly increase. Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.1 million b/d, up 18,000 b/d for the week, and 125,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year.

The total stocks of crude excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are the highest since weekly records have been kept (1982).

Imports of crude were down 83,000 b/d to about 8.2 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.0 million b/d, a decrease of 3.0% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports were put at 521,000 b/d, up from 325,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 516,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 115,000 b/d, down from 127,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 98,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).

Overall demand up to 19.6 million b/d

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.6 million b/d, up 0.7% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 3.7 million barrels to 239.7 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA), 2.8 million barrels below last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 1.0% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks totaled 152.9 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 2.5 million barrels compared with last week, and 6.9 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.2 million b/d, up 13.1% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene down 1.5 million barrels

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 42.6 million barrels (“in the middle of the average range”), down 1.5 million barrels on the week, and lower by 20 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.2 million b/d, up 425,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were up 1.9 percentage points on the week, to 89.3% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 2.9 percentage points to 91.9%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.820 million b/d, up 13,000 b/d for the week, a very bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

Exports needed

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.028 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 4.872 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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