Crude oil prices moved lower today, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an inventory build of 5 million barrels for the week to May 12.
At 467.6 million barrels, the EIA said, crude oil inventories are just a bit below the five-year average for this time of the year.
A day ago, the American Petroleum Institute estimated an inventory increase of 3.7 million barrels, versus analyst expectations for a draw of about a third of that amount.
A week ago, the EIA estimated a build of 3 million barrels for crude oil inventories that followed a weekly draw of 1.3 million barrels for the previous week.
In fuels, the EIA reported a mixed picture.
Gasoline inventories shed 1.4 million barrels during the reporting period, which compared with a draw of 3.2 million barrels for the previous week.
Gasoline production averaged 9.5 million bpd last week, which compared with 9.8 million bpd a week earlier.
In middle distillates, the EIA reported an inventory increase of 100,000 barrels for the week to May 12. This compared with a draw of 4.2 million barrels for the previous week.
Middle distillate production stood at an average 4.9 million barrels daily last week, which compared with 4.6 million barrels daily a week earlier.
Oil prices, meanwhile, remain weak despite a global oil demand growth revision by the International Energy Agency, which said earlier this week it expected stronger growth than previously forecast.
Any effect that projection may have had on crude oil prices was muted by new data out of China that showed industrial activity and retail sales growing more slowly than analysts had forecast. That was despite other data that showed an 18.9% increase in Chinese refinery throughput last month.
"There has been a lot of concern about China's industrial numbers, but if you look at their actual demand numbers or refinery runs, they're knocking on the door of breaking records," a Price Futures Group analyst told Reuters.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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