US gasoline stocks jump 5 million barrels despite demand rise: EIA
New York (Platts)--12Dec2012/1220 pm EST/1720 GMT
US gasoline stocks rose 5 million barrels last week, double analyst
expectations, despite an uptick in demand, as refinery runs remained high, US
Energy Information Administration data Wednesday showed.
At 217.115 million barrels for the week ending December 7, gasoline
stocks, which have rose for three consecutive weeks, were at a surplus to the
five-year average of nearly 6 million barrels.
In the US Atlantic Coast, however, gasoline stocks at 49.6 million
barrels last week, up 1.7 million barrels from the week prior, were still at
a more than 11%, or about 6.6 million barrel, deficit to the five-year
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Analysts polled by Platts were anticipating a 2.5 million-barrel rise in
gasoline inventories. The EIA figure was also more than that of the American
Petroleum Institute, released late Tuesday, which reported a 2.758
million-barrel build in gasoline stocks last week.
US refiners slightly lowered run rates by 0.2 percentage points to 90.4%
of capacity. Still, run rates are at higher levels for this time of the year,
up about 5.3 percentage points from the same reporting week in 2011.
On a four-week average, total US run rates were 3.5 percentage points
above year-ago levels.
Gasoline stocks rose across all regions of the US, except the Rockies,
with the Midwest posting a 1.7 million-barrel build. On the Gulf Coast,
gasoline stocks were up 1.1 million barrels.
Implied demand for finished motor gasoline rose 134,000 b/d to 8.488
million b/d. Still, demand lags year-ago levels of around 8.6 million b/d.
Imports of gasoline to the US rose 72,000 b/d to 585,000 b/d last week,
EIA data showed.
DISTILLATE STOCKS UP AS DEMAND DROPS
In distillates, US stocks jumped 2.986 million barrels last week to
118.055 million barrels, far outpacing analyst estimates of a 1.25
The stock rise came amid a dip in implied demand for distillates, which
was down 43,000 b/d to 3.5 million b/d. Of that, demand for heating oil
posted an unseasonably low level of 236,000 b/d last week, down from about
400,000 b/d the week prior, according to oil analyst Torbjorn Kjus of DNB
Bank. He noted that although output for distillates was down, imports rose.
Imports of distillates were up 36,000 b/d last week to 191,000 b/d. The
bulk of those imports were ultra low sulfur diesel at 93,000 b/d.
Stocks of ULSD rose 2 million barrels to 84.7 million barrels, while
heating oil stocks also increased last week, up 1.2 million barrels to 27.1
million barrels, EIA data showed.
Heating oil stocks on the Atlantic Coast were up 1 million barrels on
the week but down more than 10 million barrels from the same period a year
US crude stocks, meanwhile, rose 843,000 barrels to 372.609 million
barrels, far less-than the API's reported rise of 4.266 million barrels.
The EIA build was contrary to analysts expectations of a 2.5
million-barrel draw. Expectations for a draw in crude stocks is typical for
this time of the year due to accounting and financial reporting issues which
leads to higher refinery runs and lower imports, Kjus said.
Kjus noted, however, that a "decent" increase in crude imports together
with higher domestic production and slightly lower refinery throughput led to
the crude stock build.
US crude imports rose 269,000 b/d to 8.499 million barrels with the bulk
of the increase coming from Iraq, where exports were up 327,000 b/d to
737,000 b/d last week.
Colombia increased its crude exports to the US by 205,000 b/d to 503,000
b/d. Canada still exported the most to the US at 1.976 million b/d, although
that figure was down 276,000 b/d from the week prior.
Domestic crude production was up 35,000 b/d to 6.852 million b/d.
Compared to the same week a year earlier, domestic production has climbed
Across the US, small declines in crude stocks on the Atlantic Coast and
West Coast were mostly offset by a 1.4 million-barrel build in the Midwest
and a 400,000-barrel increase in the Gulf Coast.
At the NYMEX crude delivery hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, crude stocks
climbed 1.2 million barrels to 46.8 million barrels.
--Alison Ciaccio, email@example.com
--Edited by Richard Rubin, firstname.lastname@example.org