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US Crude Inventories Drop and Gasoline Stocks on the Rise
US crude exports averaged 1.09M b/d during the week ending 8 December 2017, down 20% or 272K b/d w-o-w, but up 601K b/d y-o-y, according to the US Energy Information Administration. US exports have averaged 1.362M b/d during the last four weeks, about 880K b/d more than the same four week period last year. Meanwhile, US crude imports averaged 7.36M b/d last week, up 2.2% or 161K b/d w-o-w and at the same level y-o-y. Over the last four weeks, US crude imports averaged 7.44M b/d, 255K b/d lower than the respective four-week period last year.
US crude inventories dropped 1.1% or 5.1M barrels w-o-w to 443M barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a smaller decrease of 3.8M barrels, and are moving closer to the 5-year average level of about 420M barrels. Crude oil refinery throughput was at 16.95M b/d last week, down 243K b/d w-o-w but up 478K b/d y-o-y, with refineries operating at 93.4% of their available capacity, down 0.4% w-o-w. however 0.6% higher than the 4-week average.
Gasoline production increased by 3.8% w-o-w, averaging about 10.13M b/d, while inventories of motor gasoline rose significantly to 226.5M barrels, up 5.7M barrels w-o-w, compared with analysts’ expectations for a more moderate 2.5M barrel gain. This marks the second consecutive week where gasoline stocks rose by more than 5M barrels.