NEW YORK, April 24 U.S. crude stocks rose last
week as crude imports increased, and gasoline inventories fell
by nearly 4 million barrels as refineries cut utilization rates,
government data from the Energy Information Administration
showed on Wednesday.
Crude inventories rose by 947,000 barrels to 388.59 million
barrels in the week to April 19, compared with analysts'
expectations for a larger rise of 1.5 million barrels.
U.S. crude imports rose by 131,000 barrels per day (bpd) to
7.52 million bpd last week, EIA said.
Gasoline stocks fell sharply last week as plant utilization
dropped, by 2.8 percentage points to 83.5 percent of total
capacity. Analysts had expected a rise in refinery utilization
of 0.3 percentage point in a Reuters poll.
U.S. gasoline stocks dropped 3.93 million barrels, compared
with analysts' expectations for a smaller decline of 200,000
Four-week average gasoline demand fell 1.7 percent from
year-ago levels, the EIA reported.
Distillate fuels, which include diesel and heating oil, rose
97,000 barrels, compared with expectations for a rise of 300,000
U.S. oil futures pared earlier gains after the data.
By 11:07 a.m. EDT (1507 GMT) they were up 96 cents a barrel at
$90.14. Before the data, oil had been up by around $1.10 per
"This is a mildly bearish report. The reason you have a draw
on gasoline is because refinery operations are off," said Mark
Waggoner at Excel Futures in Bend, Oregon.
Crude stocks at delivery hub Cushing, Oklahoma, rose 35,000
barrels to 51.18 million barrels.
REGIONAL DATA, PRODUCT EXPORTS
Gasoline stocks were mixed on a regional basis. East Coast
gasoline stockpiles rose by 570,000 barrels to just over 60.5
million barrels, the highest level since March 2012. Gulf Coast
stocks of the fuel declined by 1.75 million barrels to 71.86
million barrels, the lowest level since October 2012.
Gasoline stocks in the Midwest fell to the lowest since
December, while West Coast gasoline stocks declined to the
lowest since last August, EIA data showed.
Gulf Coast crude stockpiles rose 2.85 million barrels to
nearly 188 million barrels, the highest level since July 2012.
Midwest crude inventories hit a record high over 118 million
barrels, up 1.4 million barrels on the week.
U.S. exports of refined products held steady at 2.85 million
bpd last week, with finished gasoline shipments down to 485,000
bpd from 548,000 bpd in the previous reporting period.
Distillate shipments declined to 832,000 bpd from 850,000
bpd. Exports of other oils rose to nearly 900,000 bpd.
Exports of crude oil rose slightly to 47,000 bpd from 45,000
bpd the previous week, according to the EIA data.