According to the latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, U.S. crude oil inventories experienced their most significant increase in four weeks.
This rise comes as the early summer demand for motor fuels seems to have reached its peak, following a period of intensive processing by refiners aiming to ensure ample supply to the market.
The report indicated that gasoline stocks remained unchanged compared to the previous week, while distillate inventories recorded their most substantial surge in five weeks.
During the week ending on July 7, the U.S. crude inventory balance saw a notable jump of 5.946 million barrels, in contrast to the 1.508 million barrels draw observed in the prior week until June 30. Industry analysts monitored by Investing.com had projected a much smaller build of only 0.483 million barrels for the past week.
It is worth noting that the reported crude draw by the EIA includes a release of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. However, this time, the amount released was marginal, totaling just 0.4 million barrels. Even if this quantity is subtracted, the overall crude oil build would still be approximately 5.5 million barrels.
Regarding gasoline inventory, the EIA reported a minor draw of 3 million barrels for the previous week, contrary to analysts’ expectations of a 0.727 million barrel build. This draw follows the preceding week’s reduction of 2.550 million barrels. Gasoline remains the leading fuel product in the United States.
In the case of distillate stockpiles, the EIA revealed a build of 4.815 million barrels. Analysts had predicted a draw of 0.262 million barrels for the past week, considering the previous decline of 1.045 million barrels. Distillates play a crucial role as they are refined into heating oil, diesel for various transportation modes, and jet fuel.
The latest data suggests a notable shift in the market dynamics, with crude oil inventories surging and motor fuel demand reaching a plateau. Refiners’ efforts to maintain a steady supply have resulted in increased stockpiles, indicating a potential change in the near-term supply-demand balance.
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