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Weekly EIA report on US oil inventories 22/08/2012

Published Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

With the exception of crude oil inventories this week’s stats on US oil stocks were very close to the forecast. Because of crude oil drew more than expected total commercial stocks dropped by 3 million bbls, the third consecutive weekly fall. This makes the inventory report slightly bullish. Nationwide oil stocks are 8.8 million bbls or 0.8% higher than this time of last year and 12 million bbls or 1.1% above the 5-year average.

Falling crude oil imports that were down 510,000 bpd on the week at 8.17 mbpd, the lowest since December last year, were the cause of the drop in crude oil inventories. Not surprisingly PADD3 bears the lion’s share of this draw (-2.4 million bbls) followed by PADD5 (-1.75 million bbls). Cushing stocks were up by a mere 45,000 bbls and they are now 2.5 million bbls below the all-time high of 47.8 million bbls. Total crude oil inventories are 9 million bbls or 2.5% higher than a year ago and 16.7 million bbls or 4.6% higher than the 5-year average.

The drop in gasoline stocks was more or less in line with expectations and was probably caused by the 1.4% drop in refinery utilization, which stood at 91.2% last week. Total gasoline stocks are 8.7 million bbls or 4.3% below last year’s inventory levels and 6.5 million bbls or 3.2% below the 5-year average as we approach the end of the US driving season.

Despite distillate inventories built it still seems the most constructive of all, especially as we are heading towards the winter season. PADD3 saw an increase of 2.65 million bbls, which takes total distillate stock levels 30.5 million bbls or 24.3% below last year’s level and 24.9 million bbls or 19.9% below the 5-year average.

Total product demand fell 2.2% to 19.22 mbpd compared to a year-ago on a 4-week average basis and weekly demand stood at 18.85 mbpd, down 1.28 mbpd on the week. Demand for distillate fell by 4.4% to 3.67 mbpd and for gasoline by 1.7% to 9.01 mbpd compared to last year’s level on the 4-week average basis., although for gasoline it is the the highest figure since September 2011 over a 4-week period.

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.