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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures are mixed despite crude inventory increase
HOUSTON, April 5, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Wednesday, despite government figures that showed an increase in crude stocks.
The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel, although gasoline inventories fell. Refinery crude inputs nationwide were higher (but lower in the Gulf Coast), and exports of products were healthy. Gasoline demand is recovering, but still below last year's levels.
Crude imports were lower on a week-to-week basis, but not significantly so, and are higher than last year's levels. Domestic production has increased despite relatively low prices.
As of 10:03 am CDT, May NYMEX WTI was up 13 cents to $51.16/bbl; May gasoline rose 0.70 cpg to 171.47 cpg; and May diesel increased 1.37 cpg to 160.60 cpg.
Crude inventories are higher by 1.6 million barrels
The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 31 showed a 1.6 million barrel increase in crude inventories to 535.5 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the 13th straight week inventories have increased. The total stocks of crude excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are the highest since weekly records have been kept (1982).
Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.199 million b/d, up 52,000 b/d for the week, and 191,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year. Imports of crude were down 374,000 b/d to about 7.9 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, an increase of 2.3% compared to last year at this time.
Gasoline imports were put at 607,000 b/d, up from 521,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 671,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 131,000 b/d, down from 115,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 62,000 b/d (typically the US imports products to the US East Coast and exports from the US Gulf Coast).
Overall demand up 0.4% year-on-year
Total product demand over the past four weeks was put at 19.6 million b/d, up 0.4% versus the same period last year.
Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 0.6 million barrels to 239.1 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA), 4.9 million barrels below last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 0.6% from the same period last year.
Distillate stocks totaled 152.4 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 0.5 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 13.9% compared with the same period last year.
Propane/propylene inventories fall 1 million barrels
Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 41.6 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 1.0 million barrels on the week, and lower by 19.2 million barrels versus last year.
Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.4 million b/d, up 203,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were up 1.5 percentage points on the week at 90.8% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were down 0.9 percentage points to 91.0%.
Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.563 million b/d, off 257,000 b/d 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 9.3 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.515 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 4.967 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp