May 1, 2012 / 9:06 PM / 7 years ago

US crude inventories rise, products off sharply

* U.S. crude inventories rise 2 million bbls last week-API

* U.S. gasoline stocks off 3.9 million bbls

* U.S. distillate stockpiles off 4.2 million bbls

* Crude stockpiles at Cushing rise 1.2 million bbls

NEW YORK, May 1(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories rose last week as imports increased, and refined product stockpiles fell sharply, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

Stockpiles of crude in the world’s top consumer rose by 2 million barrels in the week to April 27, compared with analyst expectations of a 2.5 million-barrel build.

Gains were seen in all regions, with stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange’s U.S. oil futures contract up 1.2 million barrels.

The build came as U.S. imports of crude jumped by 273,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.21 million bpd.

Product stockpiles tumbled, however, despite a rise in refinery rates from 82.9 percent of capacity to 83.9 percent. Imports of refined products fell by 335,000 bpd to 1.29 million bpd during the week.

Gasoline stockpiles fell by 3.9 million barrels after a Reuters poll of analysts predicted a drawdown of 800,000 barrels. The Midwest saw the biggest drawdown, off nearly 1.8 million barrels, while East Coast stockpiles fell by 1.4 million barrels.

Distillate inventories decreased 4.2 million barrels, after analysts predicted a drawdown of 200,000 barrels. Gulf Coast inventories of the fuel fell by nearly 1.7 million barrels, while East Coast stockpiles were down by 1.6 million barrels.

U.S. crude oil futures traded up $1.11 to $105.98 a barrel in post settlement activity after the data was released, after earlier settling at $106.16 a barrel.

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