The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. US commercial crude inventories increased by 900,000 barrels last week, bringing the total US commercial crude inventory to 382.5 million barrels, above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.
The American Petroleum Institute had noted an inventory increase of a 1.5 million barrels last week. Crude prices, which have fallen sharply since the first of the month, were already lower before the EIA report and have continued to drop after the news came out. Much of that drop is due to a stronger dollar, in turn the result of the financial crisis in Europe and the threat that Greece will leave the monetary union.
Total gasoline inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels last week and are now in the lower limit of the five-year average range. Over the last four weeks, gasoline supplied has declined by -1.9% compared to the same period last year. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged 8.8 million barrels/day for the four weeks.
For the past week, crude imports averaged 8.6 million barrels/day, down by about 298,000 barrels/day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 88.1% of capacity, with daily input of nearly 15 million barrels/day, down by 57,000 barrels/day from the previous week.
According to gasbuddy.com, US gasoline prices average $3.688/gallon today, compared with a pump price of $3.729 a week ago. AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows today’s price at $3.6478, down from $3.728 a week ago. Pump prices continue to fall and the weekly drops are getting slightly larger. The approaching Memorial Day holiday often sees an uptick in pump prices, so this may be something to watch for this week.
WTI crude is down -1.97% today at $90.04 after falling below $90/barrel for the first time since October.