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POST DOE WRAP: Crude falls on inventory gain; production drops

HOUSTON, April 20, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed early Wednesday after government figures showed an increase in crude inventories, while gasoline and diesel stocks fell.

The US remains very long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery runs increased nationwide, but were lower in the Gulf Coast. Gasoline demand is good, and exports of products improved.

As of 9:49 am CST, May NYMEX WTI was down $0.53/bbl to $40.55/bbl, May gasoline fell 2.52 cpg to 145.47 cpg, but May diesel was up 0.26 cpg to 126.58 cpg.

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending April 15 showed a 2.1 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 538.6 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.953 million b/d, down 24,000 b/d for the week, and 413,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Production Declines

This is the ninth week in the past ten that crude production has fallen; nonetheless inventories built (those inventories are “historically high” for this time of year, per the EIA).

Imports of crude were up 247,000 b/d to 8.2 million b/d. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.8 million b/d, an increase of 2.1% compared to last year at this time.

Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.9 million b/d, up 3.7% versus the same period last year.

Gasoline Supplies Drop

Gasoline inventories were down 0.1 million barrels to 239.7 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 3.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fell 3.6 million barrels to 159.9 million (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). Distillate demand over the past four weeks was down 0.7% to 3.9 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were up 1.2 million barrels to 68.9 million, 6.9 million over last year.

Total US refinery inputs were 16.1 million b/d, up 163,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were up 0.2% on the week, put at 89.4% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), runs fell 1.5% to 91.7%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 1.845 million b/d, up 230,000 b/d for the week, a fairly bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable. -- 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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