U.S. Crude Inventories

U.S. crude inventories experienced a meager decline of just a third of the expected levels last week, despite the end of drawdowns from the national oil reserve, according to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released on Wednesday.

The report revealed that changes in fuel inventories were also disappointing, as gasoline balances dropped less than the forecasted amount. However, there was a glimmer of hope as distillates saw a smaller-than-expected build, indicating improved demand in that sector.

During the week ending on July 14, the U.S. crude inventory balance fell by 0.708 million barrels, significantly lower than the 2.44 million barrels decline that industry analysts, tracked by Investing.com, had predicted. In contrast, the previous week saw a surge of 5.946 million barrels in crude stockpiles, marking the highest increase in a month.

Interestingly, the crude drawdown reported by the EIA did not include the usual release of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This change had been a topic of contention for oil bulls in recent months, who argued that the additional oil was suppressing crude prices and hindering a potential rally.

On the gasoline inventory side, the EIA reported a draw of 1.066 million barrels for the past week, falling short of analysts’ expectations for a decline of 1.577 million barrels, following nearly unchanged levels in the preceding week. Automotive fuel gasoline, as the primary U.S. fuel product, remains a critical aspect of the energy market.

When it comes to finished motor gasoline products delivered to the marketplace, an indicator of demand at the pump, the figures stood at an underwhelming 8.855 million barrels compared to the previous week’s 8.756 million barrels. Typically, during this period, the market receives around 9 million barrels of gasoline or more each week.

Regarding distillate stockpiles, the EIA reported a build of only 0.014 million barrels, significantly lower than the 0.460 million barrels that analysts had predicted for last week, following a previous surge of 4.815 million barrels. Distillates play a crucial role in producing heating oil, diesel for various transportation means, and fuel for jets.


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