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US crude oil imports tumble as Hurricane Laura hits


US crude oil imports plummeted by 1M b/d w-o-w and 2M b/d y-o-y to 4.9M b/d during the week ending August 28, falling to the lowest level since 1991, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil exports also declined by 360K b/d w-o-w to 3M b/d. Pipeline and terminal closures last week as Hurricane Laura loomed meant imports and exports were halted for a period. Commercial crude oil inventories fell by 9.4M bbls w-o-w to 498.4M bbls, however this is still an increase of 75.4M bbls y-o-y. Total motor gasoline stocks decreased by 4.3M bbls w-o-w to 234.8M bbls, the lowest since December 2019. Refinery shutdowns last week ahead of the storm slashed utilisation which declined by 5.3% w-o-w to an average of 76.7%, after rising to the highest rate since April in the previous week, with throughput falling by 840K b/d w-o-w to 13.9M b/d.