US: EIA Petroleum Status Report

Wed Apr 06 09:30:00 CDT 2016

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Crude oil inventories (weekly change) -4.9M barrels 2.3M barrels
Gasoline (weekly change) 1.4M barrels -2.5M barrels
Distillates (weekly change) 1.8M barrels -1.1M barrels

Crude oil inventories took a rare break from their climb upward and fell 4.9 million barrels to 529.9 million barrels in the April 1 week, while product inventories rose, with gasoline inventories up 1.4 million barrels and distillates up 1.8 million. Refineries operated at a higher 91.4 percent capacity in the week, as gasoline production increased to an average of 9.6 million barrels per day, though distillate production dipped slightly to an average of 4.8 million barrels. The four week average of total products supplied was 19.5 million barrels per day, only 1.5 percent higher than the same period last year, as a 4.2 percent year-to-year increase in gasoline supplied was offset by a 6.8 percent decline in distillate fuel. The price of WTI jumped 70 cents higher to $37.40 following the report.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) provides weekly information on petroleum inventories in the U.S., whether produced here or abroad. The level of inventories helps determine prices for petroleum products.

Petroleum product prices are determined by supply and demand - just like any other good and service. During periods of strong economic growth, one would expect demand to be robust. If inventories are low, this will lead to increases in crude oil prices - or price increases for a wide variety of petroleum products such as gasoline or heating oil. If inventories are high and rising in a period of strong demand, prices may not need to increase at all, or as much. During a period of sluggish economic activity, demand for crude oil may not be as strong. If inventories are rising, this may push down oil prices.

Crude oil is an important commodity in the global market. Prices fluctuate depending on supply and demand conditions in the world. Since oil is such an important part of the economy, it can also help determine the direction of inflation. In the U.S., consumer prices have moderated whenever oil prices have fallen, but have accelerated when oil prices have risen.