Crude, Gasoline Inventories Decline Sharply


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. US commercial crude inventories declined by 1.5 million barrels last week, bringing the total US commercial crude inventory to 374.5 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories fell by 1.5 million barrels last week and are now in the lower half of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged 8.7 million barrels a day over the past four weeks - a rise of 1.6% compared with the same period a year ago.

Platts estimated a build of 1 million barrels in crude inventories, while Dow Jones estimated a build of 800,000 barrels. Dow Jones also forecast a build of 1 million barrels in gasoline stocks and a drop of 800,000 barrels in distillate stocks.

Crude prices, which had risen to about $87.50 a barrel before the report was released, have held their gains. The fighting in Israel and Gaza is holding prices higher.

For the past week, crude imports averaged 7.8 million barrels a day, a decrease of about 102,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 87.5% of capacity, with daily input of 14.9 million barrels a day, about 277,000 barrels a day more than the previous week.

Distillate inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week and remain well below the lower limit of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged more than 3.9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, down 9.2% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled nearly 4.7 million barrels a day last week, essentially flat with the prior week.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up about 0.3% at $32.06 in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $42.30.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up about 1% at $57.41. The 52-week range is $45.09 to $62.13.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Commodities, Oil & Gas, Research