Crude oil prices ticked lower today after the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory build of 6.1 million barrels for the week to October 8.
At 427 million barrels, inventories are below the five-year average, but even though this has been a fact for a few weeks now, it has not stopped the climb in gasoline prices.
Gasoline inventory builds have also failed to put a lid on prices at the pump in the past couple of weeks. For last week, the EIA estimated a 2-million-barrel draw in gasoline stocks.
This compared with a combined build of 3.5 million barrels for the two prior weeks.
In middle distillates, the EIA reported no inventory change for the week to October, which compared with a build of 400,000 barrels for the previous week. Distillate fuel inventories are about 9 percent below the five-year average.
Gasoline production averaged 9.6 million bpd last week, and middle distillate production averaged 4.7 million bpd.
These compared with gasoline production of 9.4 million bpd a week earlier, and middle distillate production of 4.6 million bpd.
In total, refineries processed 15.1 million bpd of crude oil last week, the EIA said in its weekly report. This compared with 15.7 million bpd a week earlier. Imports averaged 6 million bpd, which compared with 7 million bpd in the previous week.
Benchmarks are trading at multi-year highs because of the energy crunch that has pushed the prices of all fossil fuels much higher than many expected. Brent crude has been rising for five weeks in a row now, according to Reuters, and WTI has been recording even stronger performance, rising for seven consecutive weeks.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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