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Weekly EIA stats on US oil inventories 17/10/2012

Published Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Despite total commercial stocks fell over the last week the latest set of data from the EIA on US oil stocks is more on the negative side with the exception of distillates. Total commercial stocks registered their 4th consecutive weekly drop and they are currently 32 million bbls or 2.9% above last year’s level and 21 million bbls  or 1.9% above the 5-year average.

Crude oil inventories rose more than expectations but less than the API figure. The fact the crude oil stocks in PADD5 grew by 2.1 million bbls seemingly takes the bearish edge off the crude figure. However, it is probably offset by the increase in domestic crude oil production, which, at 6.61 mbpd, is the highest for 17 years. Cushing stocks dropped by 140,000, not big enough to positively impact the WTI structure. Crude oil imports were up by 126,000 bpd at 8.306 mbpd. Total crude oil stocks are  36 million bbls or 9.8% higher than this time last year and 27 million bbls or 7.4% above the 5-year average.

On the product front the EIA came up with a completely different set of figures than that of the API. The EIA sees distillate inventories falling by 2.2 million bbls (31 million bbls  or 26.2% below last year’s level and 28 million bbls or 23.3% below the 5-year average). On the other hand, gasoline stocks rose by 1.7 million bbls and are 9 mln bbls or 4.6% lower than a year ago and 8 million bbls or 4.1% below the 5-year average. The 1.6 million bbls build in gasoline stocks on the US East Coast is understandable as refiners increased their runs by 5% there, but the draw in both gasoline and distillate stocks in PADD2 is puzzling since runs increased there by the same percentage.

There was a big decrease in net product exports, which fell from 1.3 mbpd from two weeks ago to 0.5 mbpd last week. This was due to the increased product imports that jumped from 1.5 mbpd to 2.2 mbpd during the same period.

Total product demand remained unchanged from a year ago on the 4-week average basis at 18.82 mbpd. Distillate demand hit its highest level since last Decemebr at 3.87 mbpd but was still 4.2% down on the year. Gasoline demand fell by 2.3% to 8.68 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.