Crude Oil Rally Continues Despite Surprising Increase in US Inventory


After breaking above US$ 60/bbl, both crude oil benchmarks strengthened further despite surprising stockbuild in the US. The report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that total crude oil and petroleum products (ex. SPR) stocks slumped -13.81 mmb to 1284.77 mmb in the week ended February 19. Crude oil inventory added +1.29 mmb (consensus: -5.19 mmb) to 463.04 mmb. Stockpile increased in 2 out of 5 PADDs. PADD 2 (Midwest) alone saw +4.49 mmb surge in stockpile. Cushing stock gained +2.81 mmb to 47.82 mmb. Utilization rate declined -14.5 percentage point to 68.6% while crude production dropped -1.1M bpd to 9.7M bpd for the week. Crude oil imports dropped -1.3M bpd to 4.6M bpd in the week.

Concerning refined oil product inventories, gasoline inventory climbed +0.012 mmb to 257.1 mmb as demand slipped -1.64% to 7.21M bpd. The market had anticipated a -3.06 mmb decrease in stockpile. Production sank -14.34% to 7.74M bpd while imports plunged -20.75% to 0.53M bpd during the week. Distillate stockpile fell -4.97 mmb to 152.72 mmb. The market had anticipated a -3.75 mmb decrease. Demand slumped -11.72% to 3.93M bpd. Production sank -20.84% to 3.62 mmb while imports plummeted -16.3% to 0.3M bpd during the week. A day earlier, the industry-sponsored API estimated that crude oil inventory gained +1.03 mmb. Gasoline stockpile added +0.066 mmb, while that for distillate dropped -4.49 mmb.

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