US crude oil stocks continue to decline (1)
US commercial crude oil inventories declined by 600K bbls w-o-w to 499.5M bbls during the week ending December 18, falling for the second consecutive week, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This is an increase of 58.2M bbls (or 13.2%) y-o-y however, with stocks remaining at 11% above the five-year average for this time of year. Refinery throughputs decreased by 170K b/d w-o-w and 2.8M b/d y-o-y to 14.01M b/d, with refinery utilisation also declining by 1.1% w-o-w and 15.3% y-o-y to average 78%, the lowest level since the week ending November 13. Crude oil exports rose by 470K b/d w-o-w to 3.1M b/d, with imports also increasing by 140K b/d w-o-w to 5.56M b/d.