NEW YORK, April 3 U.S. crude stocks rose last
week to the highest level since 1990 even as crude imports fell,
government data from the Energy Information Administration
showed on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 2.71 million barrels to more than
388 million barrels in the week to March 29, compared with
analysts' expectations for a rise of 2.2 million barrels.
The rise came as domestic production of crude remained at
7.15 million barrels per day last week, unchanged from the
previous week and near a 20-year high reached earlier last
month. Crude imports fell by 227,000 barrels per day (bpd) to
7.89 million bpd last week, EIA said.
U.S. refined product inventories fell last week even as
plant utilization rose, by 0.6 percentage point to 86.3 percent
of total capacity. Analysts had expected a rise in refinery
utilization of 0.4 percentage point in a Reuters poll.
U.S. gasoline stocks fell 572,000 barrels, compared with
analysts' expectations for a decline of 800,000 barrels.
Four-week average gasoline demand was down 1.2 percent from
year-ago levels, the EIA reported.
Distillate fuels, which include diesel and heating oil, fell
2.27 million barrels, compared with expectations for a drop of
1.1 million barrels.
"The report is somewhat bearish given the build in crude oil
inventories and modest decline in gasoline inventories, which
are the focus of the market," said John Kilduff of Again Capital
LLC, a New York-based hedge fund.
U.S. oil futures extended earlier losses after the
data. By 11:35 a.m. EDT (1535 GMT) they were down $1.73 at
$95.46 a barrel. Before the data, oil was off about 73 cents per
EIA data also showed that U.S. imports of refined products
rose 287,000 barrels per day to 1.85 million bpd.
Crude stocks at delivery hub Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 287,000
barrels to 49.18 million barrels.