US Weekly Crude Exports Reach New Record High
US weekly crude exports averaged an all-time high 2.57M b/d during the week ending 11 May 2018, up 689K b/d w-o-w and 1.48M b/d y-o-y, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Exports have averaged 2.23M b/d during the past 4 weeks, up 1.36M b/d compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, US crude imports rose 278K b/d last week to 7.60M b/d, still 989K b/d lower y-o-y.
Surging exports partly facilitated a 1.4M barrel inventory shed to 432.4M bbls, compared with analysts’ expectations for a milder 763K barrel drop. Crude oil refinery throughput averaged 16.64M b/d, up 149K b/d w-o-w but 487K b/d lower y-o-y, with refineries operating at 91.1% of their available capacity compared to the previous week’s 90.4% utilisation rate.
At 10.46M b/d, gasoline production was up 488K b/d w-o-w, while inventories of motor gasoline dropped 3.8M bbls to 232M bbls, compared with expectations for a smaller 1.4M barrel drop.
By mid-afternoon in London, ICE Brent was trading at $78.12/bbl, down $0.31/bbl from the end of Tuesday’s trading day. The ICE Brent/WTI spread stood at $7.09/bbl, up $1.02/bbl w-o-w and $2.34/bbl higher from the average year-to-date.