Crude inventories printed a significantly higher than expected 2.78mm build but Cushing saw a smaller than expected build of 243k.
Gasoline surprised with a 536k build (API 1.17m draw) and Distillates saw a smaller than API build of 1.26m barrels.
The biggest news was the biggest plunge in US production since July 2015, and yet inventories still rose suggesting that fundamentally this is and has been as much a demand story as one of supply (even as OPEC countries are happy to offset declining US output).
- Crude +1.265m (+750k exp)
- Cushing +382k (+1.3m exp.. Genscape +821k)
- Gasoline -1.17m
- Distillates -2.6m
- Crude +2.78m (+750k exp)
- Cushing +243k (+1.3m exp.. Genscape +821k)
- Gasoline +536k
- Distillates -1.26m
Overall inventory levels continue to rise…
Production plunged by the most since July 2015 (driven by a 16.2% collapse in Alaska production – Lower 48 fell 0.4% Wow)
On the all important topic of gasoline demand, which has been perhaps the biggest bullish driver in recent months, gasoline stocks rose 0.5MM to 241.8MM.
Even as consumption is moving briskly higher, and is now above the 10 year maximum for this time of the year.
Is the US suddenly flooded in gasoline?
And perhaps the most important finding: Crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia more than doubled; rising 105% to 1.55m b/d, highest since May 2014, according to the EIA.
Breaking down imports:
- Total U.S. imports of crude 7660k b/d vs 7550k
- PADD 1 950k b/d vs 638k
- PADD 2 2455k b/d vs 2674k
- PADD 3 2979k b/d vs 2825k
- PADD 4 226k b/d vs 347k
- PADD 5 1050k b/d vs 1067k
- Canada imports 2924k b/d vs 3269k
- Saudi Arabia 1552k b/d vs 756k
- Venezuela 889k b/d vs 658k
- Mexico 623k b/d vs 635k
- Colombia 410k b/d vs 378k
- Ecuador 0k b/d vs 195k
- Nigeria 279k b/d vs 282k
- Kuwait 166k b/d vs 154k
- Iraq 205k b/d vs 393k
- Angola 78k b/d vs 305k
Whatever it is that the algos were looking at, the reaction in crude was quick:
Crude prices are slipping (focused on the outsize inventory build) since the plunge in production is driven more by Alaska (down 16.2% Wow) as opposed to Lower 48 (down 0.4% WoW).