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Weekly EIA Stats on US Oil Stocks 18/07/2012

Published Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

After the immediate release of the weekly statistics on US oil inventories from the EIA the market strengthened although the headline figures are not exactly positive. Total commercial stocks grew by nearly 1.5 mln bbls. They are 29 mln bbls or 2.6% above last year’s level and 26 mln bbls or 2.3% above the 5-year average.

The draw in crude oil stocks is less than the forecast and even less than the API number therefore it is slightly diappointing. Stocks in PADD2 and 3 grew slightly possibly due to falling refinery utilization (it was down 0.7% on the week nationwide and down 1.9% in PADD2 and -0.4% in the USGC). Crude oil imports that increased by 0.3 mbpd to 8.9 mbpd week-on-week also hindered any significant drawdown in crude oil stocks. Cushing registered its second consecutive weekly drop but inventories are still 9.6 mln bbls higher than a year ago and 12.1 mln bbls above the 5-year average. The same figures for nationwide crude oil stocks are 25.6 mln bbls or 6.8% and 32.6 mln bbls or 8.6%.

Without a doubt he bright spot is the fall in gasoline inventories, which came against expectations of a build. Apart from refinery runs being down on the week the drop can also be attributed to falling imports, which were down by nearly 300,000 bpd at 635,000 bpd last week. It is some 39% lower than at the same time of last year and 46% below the 5-year average. Gasoline stocks are 60.5 mln bbls or 3.2% below last year’s level and 8 mln bbls or 3.9% below the 5-year average.

Every single PADD has seen a build in distillate inventories with the biggest one (1.36 mln bbls) in PADD3. This increase is bigger than expectation but less than the API figure. Distillate inventories are now at their highest level for nearly 3 months but they are 25 mln bbls or 20.2% lower than a year ago and 21.2 mln bbls or 17.1% below the 5-year average.

Despite total product demand increased by 0.4% to 18.95 mbpd compared to last year on the 4-week average basis, gasoline demand fell by 3.3% to 8.85 mbpd but distillate demand increased by 1.9% to 3.57 mbpd.

Posted by Tamas Varga

Tamas Varga has been in the oil industry since 1992 and with PVM for 18 years. During his time in the industry he has gathered a range of experience in the oil markets. At PVM Tamas is in charge of data collection and analysis.