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POST DOE WRAP: NYMEX falls on moderate inventory crude draw

HOUSTON, September 14, 2016 (PCW) -- NYMEX crude and products futures prices were lower early Thursday after government figures showed a modest draw in crude and a build in gasoline stocks.

The US remains long in crude, gasoline and diesel. Refinery crude input volumes fell nationwide.

Domestic gasoline demand remains robust and export volumes of products were down. The draw in crude was related to bad weather in the Gulf Coast that inhibited shipping.

As of 10:23 am CST, October NYMEX WTI fell $1.01/bbl to $43.89/bbl, October gasoline dropped 1.49 cpg to 136.16 cpg and October diesel declined 3.17 cpg to 139.12 cpg.

Crude inventories fall

The US Energy Information Administration statistics for the week ending September 9 showed a 0.6 million barrel decrease in crude inventories to 510.8 million barrels. It was the lowest level since February. Domestic crude oil production was put at 8.493 million b/d, up 35,000 b/d for the week, and 624,000 b/d lower versus the same period last year.

Imports of crude were up 0.993 million b/d to 8.1 million b/d on the week. Over the past four weeks, crude imports averaged 8.2 million b/d, an increase of 9.1% compared to last year at this time.

Essentially, domestic crude production is lower, but imports are replacing the lost barrels.

Gasoline imports rise

Gasoline imports were put at 650,000 b/d, up from 607,000 b/d from the previous week. For the same period last year, the figure was 588,000 b/d. Distillate imports were 140,000 b/d, up from 108,000 b/d last week and from 60,000 b/d the previous year (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 20.7 million b/d, up 5.7% versus the same period last year.

Total gasoline inventories (including blendstocks) were up 0.6 million barrels at 228.4 million barrels (still “well above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 11 million over last year. Demand was 9.5 million b/d over the past four weeks, up 4.2% from the same period last year.

Distillate stocks rose 4.6 million barrels to 162.8 million barrels (“above the upper limit of the average range,” per the EIA), 8.8 million barrels over last year. Distillate demand over the past four weeks was up 1.3% to 3 million b/d compared to the same period last year.

Propane stocks increase

Propane/propylene inventories on the week were 100.1 million barrels, up 2.0 million barrels on the week, and up 3.4 million barrels versus last year.

Total US refinery inputs averaged 16.7 million b/d, down 200,000 b/d compared to the previous week. Inputs of crude oil nationwide to refineries on a percentage basis were down 0.9% on the week, put at 92.9% of capacity. In the Gulf Coast (PADD III), inputs were down 0.7% to 92.4%.

Also, net exports of all products were put at 1.531 million b/d, down 54,000 b/d for the week, a fairly bearish number. The US needs to export products to keep inventories manageable. -- Robert Sharp

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