The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported a 2.5-million-barrel reduction in U.S. crude oil inventories, once again in contraction with American Petroleum Institute (API) figures yesterday, indicating an inventory increase of 2.2 million barrels.
According to the EIA, which publishes the official inventory data and is considered the primary source for these figures, U.S. crude oil inventories are now at 521.8 million barrels, which represents a draw of 2.5 million barrels from the previous week.
Analysts expectations had been for a 3-million-barrel draw, so when the API reported a 2.2-million-barrel move in the opposite direction, the markets responded, sending crude oil prices downward again.
Oil futures tumbled yesterday following the information from the API with August futures dipping in electronic trading from US$46.80 to US$46.44. Oil prices immediately fell after the EIA released its data.
According to the EIA, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels last week, while finished gasoline inventories increased, and blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories also increased by 4.1 million barrels last week, while propane/propylene inventories rose 2.6 million barrels. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 7.1 million barrels last week. The unusually big build in distillate fuel inventories could take its toll on oil prices
U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 7.8 million barrels per day last week, down by 522,000 barrels per day from the previous week, the EIA noted.
At the same time, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 16.5 million barrels per day during the week ending July 8, 2016, 143,000 barrels per day less than the previous week, with refineries operating at 92.3 percent of capacity.
Gasoline production increased last week, averaging over 10.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging over 5.0 million barrels per day.
In the EIA’s 8 July weekly report, inventories were down by over 3.2 million barrels on the previous week. That same week, the API had also show a draw of slightly more than the EIA reported figures.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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