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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX futures mixed amid crude inventory drop

HOUSTON, April 26, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Wednesday after government figures showed a decrease in crude stocks, but a build in gasoline.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline, and diesel. Refinery crude inputs nationwide were higher, and exports of products were healthy; domestic gasoline demand is still below last year.

As of 9:52 am CDT, June NYMEX WTI rose $0.32/bbl to $49.88/bbl; June gasoline fell 1.28 cpg to 161.23 cpg; and May diesel dropped 0.53 cpg to 154.45 cpg.

Crude inventories are lower

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending March 31 showed 3.6 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 528.7 million barrels (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the third week in a row that inventories have decreased.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.265 million b/d, up 13,000 for the week, and 327,000 higher versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 1.1 million b/d to about 8.9 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.1 million b/d, an increase of 4.9% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports rise

Gasoline imports were put at 916,000 b/d, up from 843,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 808,000. Distillate imports were 54,000 b/d, down from 167,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 207,000 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 19.5 million b/d, down 2.2% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 3.4 million barrels to 241.0 million (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 0.2 million below last year. Demand was 9.2 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 1.8% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks increase

Distillate stocks totaled 150.9 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), up 2.7 million compared with last week, and 7.3 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.1 million b/d, up 4.5% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 39.7 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), essentially flat on the week, and lower by 31.5 million versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 17.3 million b/d, up 347,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were up 1.2 percentage points on the week, to 94.1% of capacity; in the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were up 1.2 percentage points to 94.6%.

Exports are lower

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.459 million b/d, down 860.000 for the week, still a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.2 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 9.710 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.1 million b/d, but production was 5.063 million. -- Robert Sharp

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