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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures lower despite crude inventory decrease

HOUSTON, April 19, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were lower Wednesday despite government figures that showed a decrease in crude stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Gasoline inventories increased, while domestic gasoline demand is still below last year's levels. Refinery crude inputs nationwide were higher (much higher in the Gulf Coast), but exports of products were very healthy.

Crude imports were lower on a week-to-week basis, but not significantly; domestic production increased slightly.

As of 10:17 am CDT, May NYMEX WTI was down $0.17/bbl to $52.24/bbl; May gasoline decreased 0.95 cpg to 170.15 cpg; and May diesel dropped 0.16 cpg to 162.03 cpg.

Crude inventories 1 million barrels lower

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 31 showed a 1 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 532.3 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the second week in a row that inventories have declined.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.252 million b/d, up 17,000 b/d for the week, and 290,000 b/d higher versus the same period last year. Imports of crude were down 68,000 b/d to about 7.8 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 7.9 million b/d, an increase of 2.0% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports fall to 843,000 b/d

Gasoline imports were put at 843,000 b/d, up from 488,000 b/d the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 791,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 167,000 b/d, up from 118,000 b/d on the week; the figure for last year was 90,000 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, down 0.8% versus the same period last year. Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 1.5 million barrels to 237.7 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 2.0 million barrels below last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 0.7% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks fall 1 million barrels

Distillate stocks totaled 148.3 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 2.0 million barrels compared with last week, and 13.3 million barrels below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.3 million b/d, up 9.9% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week was 39.6 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 0.7 million barrels the week, and lower by 29.3 million barrels versus last year. Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.9 million b/d, up 241,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were up 1.9 percentage points on the week to 92.9% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 3.8 percentage points to 93.4%.

Exports rise 430,000 b/d

Also, net exports of all products were put at 3.319 million b/d, up 430,000 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 9.794 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 5.150 million b/d. -- Robert Sharp

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