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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures are mixed after crude inventory decrease

HOUSTON, April 12, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Wednesday after government figures showed a decrease in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel, although gasoline inventories fell hard. Refinery crude inputs nationwide were higher (but lower in the Gulf Coast), and exports of products were very healthy; gasoline demand is still below last year.

Crude imports were higher on a week-to-week basis, but not significantly; domestic production increased despite relatively low prices.

As of 10:25 am CDT, May NYMEX WTI was down $0.11/bbl to $53.29/bbl; May gasoline fell 0.91 cpg to 174.86 cpg; and May diesel increased 0.40 cpg to 165.46 cpg.

Crude inventories fall 2.2 million barrels

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 31 showed a 2.2 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 533.4 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). It was only the second weekly decrease this year and the first drop of more than a million barrels.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.235 million b/d, up 36,000 b/d for the week, and 258,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year. Imports of crude were up 28,000 b/d to about 7.9 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.1 million b/d, an increase of 3.0% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports fall to 488,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 488,000 b/d, down from 607,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 570,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 118,000 b/d, down from 131,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 175,000 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 19.7 million b/d, essentially flat versus the same period last year. Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 3.0 million barrels to 236.1 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA), 3.6 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 fall 2.2 million barrels

Distillate stocks totaled 150.2 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 2.2 million barrels compared with last week, and 13.3 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.2 million b/d, up 15.6% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 40.4 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 1.2 million barrels, and lower by 27.3 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.7 million b/d, up 268,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were up 0.2 percentage points on the week to 90.8% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were down 1.4 percentage points to 90.6%.

Exports are high

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.889 million b/d, up 266,000 b/d for the week, 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 9.927 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 5.060 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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