US Crude Inventories Drop, Gasoline Stocks on the Rise
US crude exports averaged 1.36M b/d during the week ending 1 December 2017, down 3.8% or 54K b/d w-o-w, but up about 860K b/d y-o-y, according to the US Energy Information Administration. US exports have averaged 1.373M b/d during the last four weeks, 892K b/d more than the same four week period last year. Meanwhile, US crude imports averaged 7.2M b/d last week, a drop of 1.7% or 127K b/d w-o-w and 13.3% or 1.1M b/d y-o-y. Over the last four weeks, US crude imports averaged 7.57M b/d, about 387K b/d lower than the respective four-week period last year.
US crude inventories dropped 1.2% or 5.6M barrels w-o-w to 448.1M barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a smaller decrease of 3.4M barrels, and are moving closer to the 5-year average level of about 420M barrels. Crude oil refinery throughput was at 17.2M b/d last week, up 192K b/d w-o-w and 778K b/d y-o-y, with refineries operating at 93.8% of their available capacity compared to last week’s 92.6%, the highest utilisation capacity since before hurricanes hit the U.S. Gulf refining hub in late August.
Gasoline production decreased by 4.8% w-o-w, averaging about 9.76M b/d, while inventories of motor gasoline rose significantly to 220.9M barrels, up 6.8M barrels w-o-w, compared with analysts’ expectations for a more moderate 1.7M barrel gain, and are in the middle of the average range.