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

HOUSTON, May 24, 2017 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were mixed Wednesday after government figures showed a decrease in crude stocks and another small draw in gasoline.

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

As of 9:58 am CDT, July NYMEX WTI rose $0.12/bbl to $51.59/bbl; June gasoline rose 0.01 cpg to 165.61 cpg; and May diesel increased 0.28 cpg to 161.50 cpg.

Crude inventories are lower

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending May 19 showed a 4.4 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 516.3 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range,” per the EIA). This is the seventh week in a row that inventories have decreased.

Domestic crude oil production was put at 9.320 million b/d, down 15,000 for the week, but 553,000 higher versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were down 296,000 b/d to about 8.3 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, an increase of 8.1% compared to last year at this time.

Gasoline imports rise

Gasoline imports were put at 725,000 b/d, up from 696,000 the previous week; for the same period last year the figure was 933,000. Distillate imports were 101,000 b/d, down from 161,000 on the week; the figure for last year was 193,000 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 20.2 million b/d, down 0.8% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were down 0.8 million barrels to 239.9 million (“near the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 0.2 million below last year. Demand was 9.3 million b/d over the past four weeks, off 1.9% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks decrease

Distillate stocks totaled 146.3 million barrels (“in the upper half of the average range”), off 0.5 million compared with last week, and 4.5 million below last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was 4.2 million b/d, up 3.6% compared with the same period last year.

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 43.7 million barrels (“in the lower half of the average range”), down 1.5 on the week, and lower by 30.4 million versus last year.

Total US refinery crude inputs averaged 17.3 million b/d, up 159,000 b/d compared with the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries were higher by 0.1 percentage points to 93.5%. In the Gulf Coast, refinery runs were off 0.4 percentage points to 96.1% of capacity.

Exports are lower

Also, net exports of all products were put at 2.442 million b/d, down 431,000 for the week, but still a bullish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable.

While domestic gasoline demand was put at 9.4 million b/d, total gasoline production came in at 10.243 million b/d. Distillate demand was 4.2 million b/d, but production was 5.197 million. -- Robert Sharp

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