U.S. crude oil stockpiles surged sharply last week, bringing the total supply to its highest levels since December, and gasoline inventories also increased, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Crude stocks rose by 6.2 million barrels to around 436 million barrels in the last week of April, against expectations for an increase of 739, 000. The build was mostly concentrated on the West Coast, where stockpiles increased by almost 5 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels, compared with analysts’ estimates of a 587, 000-barrel decline.
The oil market initially reacted negatively to the report, with prices falling on the build in crude and gasoline. Crude later rebounded, though gasoline prices were still lower.
U.S. crude oil futures traded up 22 cents at $67.46 per barrel. Meanwhile, Brent crude declined to $72.98 per barrel. U.S. gasoline futures edged down 0.7 percent to $2.0724 per gallon.
Refinery crude runs declined by 60, 000 bpd and refinery utilization rates increased by 0.3 percentage points to 91.1 percent of overall capacity, EIA data indicated.
The surge in crude and gasoline inventories was countered by a bigger-than-projected decline in inventories of diesel, jet fuel and other distillates. Distillate stockpiles declined by 3.9 million bpd. According to the EIA, crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub increased by 416, 000 barrels. Net U.S. crude imports increased last week by 263, 000 barrels per day.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com