Analysis of U.S. EIA data: Cushing crude oil stocks fall to year-to-date low


Commercial crude oil stocks in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) crude oil contract, dropped for the third consecutive week, hitting their lowest level yet in 2013, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed Wednesday.

Stocks at Cushing fell 669,000 barrels to 48.596 million barrels during the reporting week ended June 14, the EIA's data showed, a level not seen since the week ended December 14, 2012.

The drop contrasted with a build in U.S. commercial crude oil stocks, which ticked up 313,000 barrels to 394.121 million barrels, amid a 586,000 barrels per day (b/d) increase in imports.

Data released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) late Tuesday showed a 4.286 million-barrel drop in crude oil stocks, coupled with a decline in imports.

Stocks rose by 861,000 barrels along the U.S. East Coast (USEC) and by 1.21 million barrels along the U.S. West Coast (USWC), while dropping 1.169 million barrels along the U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC), by 103,000 barrels in the Midwest and by 486,000 barrels in the Rocky Mountains, the EIA data showed. Oil in transit from Alaska also fell, dropping by 409,000 barrels to 3.175 million barrels.

Crude oil imports hit their strongest level since the week ended December 7, 2012, surging to 8.436 million b/d, even as domestic production fell back by 95,000 b/d to 7.129 million b/d. Domestic production dropped by 83,000 b/d in Alaska and slid by 12,000 b/d in the lower 48 states.

USEC imports jumped 443,000 b/d to 1.336 million b/d, the highest level seen into the region since mid-September. Imported volumes also climbed along the USWC (up 212,000 b/d), in the Rocky Mountain region (up 71,000 b/d) and in the Midwest (up 59,000 b/d).

By contrast, imports slid along the USGC by 201,000 b/d to 4.104 million b/d, as volumes from Saudi Arabia – a major supplier to the region – dropped 243,000 b/d.

U.S. refinery utilization bounced up above 89% for the first time since the week ended January 4, rising 1.8 percentage points to 89.3%, with production climbing in all five reporting districts.

Gross inputs into refineries rose 311,000 b/d to 15.902 million b/d, the majority of which was due to a 294,000 b/d bounce in crude oil inputs, which rose to 15.531 million b/d, their highest level so far this year.

Gasoline stocks along the U.S. Atlantic Coast (USAC) dropped by 1.505 million barrels during the week ended June 14, the EIA's data showed, with the decline concentrated entirely in the Lower Atlantic sub-region.

The USAC is host to the New York Harbor-delivered NYMEX RBOB contract.

Stocks in the Lower Atlantic plunged 2.149 million barrels to 24.894 million barrels, largely reversing the sharp build seen the previous week. By contrast, stocks rose by 367,000 barrels in New England and by 276,000 barrels in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Elsewhere, inventories largely increased – up 183,000 barrels nationally to 221.728 million barrels – led by a 875,000 barrel jump in gasoline stocks along the USWC. Stocks rose by 507,000 barrels in the Midwest and by 316,000 barrels in the Rocky Mountain region, while remaining virtually unchanged along the USGC.

Implied demand* for the road fuel increased 192,000 b/d to 8.84 million b/d, and production dropped back by 103,000 b/d to 9.1 million b/d, while imports fell 136,000 b/d to 556,000 b/d. Imports into the USAC dropped by 176,000 b/d.

Distillate stocks slid for the second straight week, dropping 489,000 barrels to 121.622 million barrels, even as implied demand* ticked lower by 63,000 b/d to 4.015 million b/d. Production remained broadly unchanged on the week.

Inventories jumped 2.418 million barrels along the USAC to 38.053 million barrels, the highest level since the week ended February 1. Inventories surged by 2 million barrels in the Lower Atlantic sub-region to 14.120 million barrels, a level not seen since August 2011.

Like RBOB, New York Harbor is the delivery point for the NYMEX ultra low sulfur diesel contract.

The sharp build along the USAC was countered by a 3.272 million-barrel draw along the USGC, where distillate stocks fell to 39.437 million barrels.

* Implied demand is the amount of product that moves through the U.S. distribution system, not actual end consumption.

Source from : Platts