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EIA stats on US oil stocks 27/11/2012

Published Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

With the exception of RBOB the latest set of data from the EIA on US oil stocks was more bullish than the API report and the forecast. As a result total commercial stocks were down by 1.5 million bbls, the third consecutive weekly drop, although they are still well above last year’s level (+4%) and also higher than the 5-year average (+1.9%.)

It seems that domestic crude oil production just keeps climbing higher even on the weekly basis. The latest figure shows US output at 6.818 mbpd. It was the 11th weekly rise and of course a new 18-year high. The only other bearish factor in the crude figures is the 700,000 bbls build at Cushing, which takes inventroies at the NYMEX delivery point less than 2 million bbls below the all-time high reached in May this year. The structure of WTI will not get any support from these figures. Crude oil inventories fell slightly despite analysts expecting a build. The small decrease is made more bullish by PADD5 building 1.2 million bbls. Although crude oil imports climbed back over the 8 mbpd mark they are still well below both the year-ago level and the 5-year average.Current crude oil stocks, on the other hand are nearly 40 million bbls higher than this time last year and 29 million bbls higher than the 5-year average.

Gross product imports fell below the 2 mbpd mark and when it is set against gross exports the net result is some 0.9 mbpd of refined products leaving the country, nearly a 50% jump from two weeks ago. Given that refinery utilization is still low on the US East Coast (it is at 65.7%, down 1.8% on the week) the 1.25 and 1.92 million bbls builds in gasoline and distillate inventroies are somewhat surprising. Despite the larger-than-expected jump in gasoline stocks, they are still 5.6 million bbls lower than a year ago and 2.6 million bbls below the 5-year average. The distillate situation is more bullish than that of gasoline. Stocks in this product are 26.45 million bbls below last year’s level and 28.39 million bbls lower than the 5-year average.

Although total product demand was down about 0.5 mbpd from last week it jumped slightly over the 19 mbpd mark on  a 4-week average basis. Both gasoline and distillate demand contracted by around 0.4 mbpd on the week. The biggest increase came from jet fuel and “other products”, 0.2 mbpd and 0.7 mbpd respectively.

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.