Crude Oil Inventory Figures Released

Alan Penny

20 November 2019

3 min read

Crude Oil Trading

  • US Commercial Crude Oil Inventories increase 1.4 million barrels
  • US Crude Oil Imports average 6 million barrels per day
  • US Crude Oil Refinery Inputs average 16.4 million barrels per day

During the Wednesday session, the summary of weekly petroleum data was released. This gave the trading world a look into the idea of demand for petroleum, and therefore the potential strength or weakness of the world’s largest economy in the United States. In general, the top line number came in as expected.

The numbers

The report was released on Wednesday for the week ending November 15, showing that oil refinery inputs averaged 16.4 million barrels per day. This was 519,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average.

Refineries operated at 89.5% of their capacity last week, while production of gasoline decreased to an average of 10.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production did increase last week, as it averaged 5.1 million barrels per day. The United States imported 6.0 million barrels of crude oil on average per day last week, which was up by roughly 220,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

The average over the last four weeks of crude oil imports has been 6.1 million barrels per day, 18% less than for the same time frame last year. This shows signs that the United States continues to increase domestic production. Gasoline imports averaged 515,000 barrels per day last week while distillate fuel imports average 315,000 barrels per day.

The top-line number of commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels from the previous week, as anticipated by market participants. Crude oil inventories are roughly 3.0% above the five-year average for this time of year as the stockpile sits at 450.4 million barrels, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels last week and are roughly 2.0% above the five-year average for this time of year as well. This shows that the demand for energy may be waning, which it certainly seems to be, but that it is also being affected by more domestic supply.

Global slowdown

Looking at the overall picture of the global economy, it does appear that we are slowing down a bit. This can be seen around the world, as most economies have central banks right now looking to loosen monetary policy.

The world is focusing on these figures in the United States to get an idea as to how the world’s largest economy is behaving, being the one thing seemingly lifting the global economy at the moment. If we start to see a slowdown in demand for energy, that quite often precedes some type of negative economic event.

the numbers are getting a bit softer, and this has an effect on the crude oil markets themselves

It is worth noting that the numbers are getting a bit softer, and this has an effect on the crude oil markets themselves. Although not overly bearish, they don’t have any real momentum going to the upside either.

Expect more malaise in the overall marketplace based on the lack of clear directionality, including being exacerbated by the China-US trade war. If that gets sorted out, it’s likely that the energy sector should become quite lively.

Written By
Alan Penny

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