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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a build of 2.502 million barrels in United States crude inventories against expert predictions that domestic supplies would see a 2.8-million-barrel build.
While the build in crude oil inventories was smaller than analysts had predicted, it marks a new high in US inventories. The chart below displays the cumulative build, per API data, since the beginning of the year, based on this data:
Cumulative changes in crude oil stocks since Jan 4, 2017
The inventory picture based on EIA data is even less rosy:
Cumulative changes in crude oil stocks since Jan 5, 2017
Moments before the API data release, WTI and Brent benchmarks were divided with WTI trading down 0.19% at $53.95, and Brent trading up 0.11% at $56.48 after an earlier Reuter’s survey showed OPEC’s cut compliance had reached 94% in February, and the White House quashed rumors that the current ethanol mandate would be changed. This was tempered by fears that crude oil stocks would build yet again—and to record highs—ahead of this afternoon’s data.
The API also reported a 544,000-barrel build in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma facility.
Gasoline inventories rose despite analyst predictions of a 1.5-million-barrel draw. Instead, gasoline inventories climbed 1.84 million barrels. At 4:54PM, gasoline was trading at $1.71, down 1.57%.
Distillates stocks saw a draw of 3.73 million barrels.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices began to fall after shortly the API report’s release, with WTI trading at $53.87 and Brent trading at $56.40.
All eyes will be on the EIA inventory report tomorrow at 10:30EST to see what is in store for crude oil and gasoline stocks.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.