US Crude Stockpiles Rise Unexpectedly, Gasoline Draws Down as Demand Grows -EIA
05.23.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

May 23, 2024 [Reuters]- U.S. crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly last week due to a big adjustment for unaccounted barrels, while gasoline stockpiles fell as demand grew ahead of the summer driving season, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

 

Crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels to 458.8 million barrels in the week ending May 17, the EIA said, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuter’s poll for a 2.5 million-barrel draw.

Despite higher exports and refining rates and steady production, crude stocks grew as the EIA’s adjustment number, which tracks unaccounted for crude, rose to 1.4 million barrels last week, its highest since early November.

Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures rose by 1.3 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

Brent crude and U.S. oil futures pared losses after the report, trading down 1% on the day.

Refinery crude runs rose by 227,000 barrels per day, while refinery utilization ratesrose by 1.3 percentage points to 91.7% of total capacity as refiners sought to meet growing fuel demand.

Gasoline stocks fell by 945,000 barrels in the week to 226.8 million barrels, the EIA said, more than forecasts for a 729,000-barrel draw.

Product supplied for gasoline, a proxy for demand, rose by 440,000 bpd last week to 9.3 million bpd. The summer driving season and demand for the motor fuel kicks off around the Memorial Day holiday this weekend.

“It’s a nice report. Gasoline is the star of the show here because it’s driving season”, said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

“The refinery utilization was up big, that implies refiners trying to make more gasoline. It implies there is going to be some increase in demand”, he added. ​

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 379,000 barrels in the week to 116.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 394,000-barrel drop.

U.S. diesel futures extended losses to 0.8% following the surprise build, while U.S. gasoline futures pared losses, down 0.9%.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 676,000 bpd, with volumes from Mexico hitting a record low of 184,000 bpd. The previous low was 208,000 bpd in the week to April 12, after state energy company Petroleos Mexicanos cut exports to supply more to its domestic refineries.

U.S. exports rose by 595,000 bpd to reach 4.73 million bpd, while crude production held steady at 13.1 million bpd.

 

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