U.S. Crude Inventory Up, Gasoline Down on Refinery Maintenance

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report this morning. U.S. commercial crude inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last week, bringing the total U.S. commercial crude inventory to 384 million barrels, well above the upper limit of the five-year range for this time of the year.

Total gasoline inventories decreased by 3.6 million barrels last week, but remain in the middle of the five-year average range. Total motor gasoline supplied averaged slightly more than 8.5 million barrels a day over the past four weeks — a rise of about 1.1% compared with the same period a year ago.

Distillate inventories increased by about 1 million barrels last week, and remain in the lower half of the average range. Distillate product supplied averaged more than 3.6 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up about 1% when compared with the same period last year. Distillate production totaled 4.2 million barrels a day last week, down by about 100,000 barrels a day when compared with the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute reported an inventory decrease of 1.4 million barrels in crude supplies last week, together with a decrease of 3.1 million barrels in gasoline supplies and a drop of 2.2 million barrels in distillate supplies. Platts estimated a build of 2.3 million barrels in crude inventories and decreases of 1.5 million barrels for gasoline stocks and 2 million barrels for distillate stocks. Dow Jones had projected a rise in crude inventories of 2.4 million barrels.

Crude prices were about down about 0.6% before the EIA report, at $93.11 a barrel, and maintained that level following the report. Crude prices are rising again, but gasoline prices are inching down.

For the past week, crude imports averaged more than 7.5 million barrels a day, an increase of about 227,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Refineries were running at 81% of capacity, with daily input of 14 million barrels a day, about 37,000 barrels a day less than the previous week. The spring turnaround to summer fuel and routine refinery maintenance continue to keep gasoline supplies at lower levels.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEMKT: USO) is up about 0.4% at $33.38, in a 52-week range of $29.02 to $41.38.

The United States Gasoline ETF (NYSEMKT: UGA) is up 0.9% at $62.71, in a 52-week range of $45.13 to $65.86.

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