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Weekly EIA stats on US oil stocks 08/08/2012

Published Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

There were stock draws across the board in the latest report from the EIA on US stock level, which should support an market that is in a good mood anyway. Total commercial stocks fell for the third consecutive week but they are still 25 mln bbls or 2.3% above last year’s level and 21 mln bbls or 1.9% above the 5-year average.

Probably rather surprisingly the much bigger-than-expected draw in crude oil inventories is the least bullish of all. It is because PADD5 decreased by 1.7 mln bbls leaving the rest of the country with a draw of “only” 2 mln bbls. Stocks in the USGC were virtually unchanged as crude oil imports rose slightly. The biggest draw occured in PADD2 where Cushing inventories fell by 0.8 mln bbks. Stocks at the NYMEX delivery points are now 9.7 mln bbls higher than a year ago and 10.6 mln bbls above the 5-year average although they are some 3.5 mln bbls below the all-time high at the end of May. Total crude oil stocks are 20 mln bbls or 5.4% higher than a year ago and 26 mln bbls or 6.9% higher than the 5-year average.

Despite refiners increasing runs by 0.4% the two main product categories saw decreases in stock levels. Distillate stocks fell 0.7 mln bbls despite the market expected a build of 0.6 mln bbls. Distillate inventories are 28 mln bbls or 22.6% lower than this time of last year and 25 mln bbls or 20.3% lower than the 5-year average – seems quite bullish.

Gasoline stocks also fell although the API saw them growing by nearly 0.5 mln bbls. They are 7.5 mln bbls or 3.7% below last year’s level and 7 mln bbls or 3.4% below the 5-year average.

The explanation behind the fall in product stocks might lie in the fact that the US has become a net exporter of products, something, which was unimaginable a few years ago. Net product exports stood at 0.8 mbpd bbls last week, which is 0.5 mbpd lower than this time of last year.

Total product demand fell 1.9% compared to a year ago on the 4-week average basis to 18.94 mbpd. Gasoline demand was down 4.2% at 8.74 mbpd and distillate demand fell by 2.8% to 3.6 mbpd on the same basis.

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.