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Stock Movements - Apr 13

Source: OPEC_RP130411 4/12/2013, Location: Europe

OECD
Preliminary data for February shows that total OECD commercial oil stocks reversed the build of the previous month and fell seasonally 33.9 mb to 2,655 mb. Despite this drop, inventories were 8.7 mb above the same period a year ago, although down 8.1 mb from the five-year average.

Within components, both crude and products declined, down 8.4 mb and 25.5 mb respectively. At 1,277 mb, OECD crude commercial stocks stood at a comfortable level, with a surplus of 23.6 mb over the same period last year and nearly 25 mb above the five-year average. In contrast, product stocks remained tight, showing a deficit of 14.9 mb with the previous year and 32.6 mb with the seasonal norm.

Within the OECD regions, the largest drop in commercial inventories in March came from the Americas, where stocks declined by 23.3 mb. The Asia-Pacific was next with a fall of 11.3 mb. In contrast, while OECD Europe stocks rose by 0.7 mb.

Despite this draw, OECD Americas stocks remained at healthy levels, up 18.9 mb from the previous February and 54.1 higher than the seasonal norm. The surplus was mainly driven by crude stocks, which were 37.4 mb above the same time a year ago and nearly 68 mb above the five-year average. The comfortable level of US commercial crude stocks came on the back of higher domestic crude supply combined with seasonal refinery maintenance.

In contrast with the healthy level of crude stocks, product inventories remained tight, indicating a deficit of 18.5 mb with a year ago and 78 mb with the seasonal average. Most of the shortfall can be observed in middle distillates, which were absorbed by the increase in exports to Latin America. In February, middle distillates were 17 mb below the seasonal norm, while gasoline stocks started to improve, remaining in line with the five-year average.

OECD Europe inventories rose for the second consecutive month, ending February at 919 mb. However, despite this improvement, they still showed a deficit of 57.3 mb with the five-year average and of around 14.7 mb with than the same period the year before. The deficit with the previous year was concentrated on products, which were down by 16.3 mb, while crude was up by 1.7 mb. The deficit with the seasonal average is attributed to both crude and products, which were 23 mb and 35 mb lower respectively. The pattern for the coming months could see a similar trend, with crude rising and products falling, since refinery maintenance should keep product stocks lower.

Commercial inventories in the Asia-Pacific in February reversed the build of the previous month and declined by a considerable 11.3 mb to end at 391 mb. At this level, inventories were 4.6 mb above the same period a year ago and 4.8 mb below the fiveyear average. The total drop came from crude, which declined by 13.0 mb, while product stocks increased by 1.7 mb. The surplus with last year is attributed mainly to products gaining 20.0 mb, while crude showed a deficit of 15.4 mb. Crude also had a deficit of 14.8 mb with the five-year average, while products were 10.0 mb above the seasonal norm.

Although OECD commercial stocks fell sharply in February, days of forward cover rose on the expectation of lower demand in the coming months. Indeed, in terms of forward cover, the stock level stood at nearly 59.2 days, around half a day more than in the previous month and 1.2 days above the same period the year before. Compared with the seasonal average, inventories showed a gain of 1.7 days. Despite the lower absolute level of OECD Europe commercial stocks, days of forward cover stood at around 70 days, reflecting the regionís weak demand.

EU plus Norway
The latest available data for February shows that European stocks rose for the second consecutive month, up 0.8 mb, to stand at 1,049.1 mb. Despite this build, stocks ended the month 24.4 mb or 2.3% below the same time last year and 76.2 mb or 6.8% below the five-year average. The total stock-build came from crude, which rose by 0.9 mb, while products decreased by 0.2 mb.

European crude inventories rose in February, finishing the month at 452.2 mb. This represents a gain of 8.0 mb or 1.8% above the year before, although still 18.1 mb or 3.8% below the latest five-year average. The build in crude oil stocks came on higher North Sea production, which was boosted by higher output from Nexenís Buzzard field. The rise in refinery runs limited a further build in crude oil stocks. In fact, refinery throughputs increased by around 400,000 b/d from the previous month to reach 10.7 mb/d, but remained at almost the same level as a year ago. European refinery runs stood at just under 85% or about 4.0 percentage points (pp) above the same time a year ago.

Product stocks in Europe fell slightly in February, reversing the build of the last month and ending the month at 596.9 mb. This level represented a deficit of 32.4 mb or 5.2 % with the same period last year and constituted a shortfall of 58.1 mb or 8.9% with the five-year average. Within products, the picture was mixed: Distillates and residual fuel oil saw builds, while gasoline and naphtha witnessed draws.

Distillate stocks rose by 2.3 mb, which was the third monthly build in a row, finishing February at 375.0 mb. This meant that they were still 13.5 mb or 3.5% lower than a year ago and 15.2 mb or 3.9% below the seasonal average. The build reflected mainly weak regional demand, as mild weather capped the increase in heating oil demand. Residual fuel oil stocks also rose mb in February, by 0.4 mb, reversing the stock-draw of the last three months and reaching 83.5 mb. Thus they were 9.4 mb or 10.1% lower than the year before and 23.5 mb or 22.0% below the seasonal average. Higher refinery output was behind the increase, but a rise of exports to the Asia-Pacific and to the US limited a further build in inventories.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2.4 mb after two consecutive months of build, finishing February at 109.8 mb. At this level, they were 2.3 mb or 2.1% lower than the year before and 14.5 mb or 11.7% below the seasonal average. Higher gasoline imports to the US, at a time of seasonal maintenance, led to more drops in gasoline inventories. Naphtha stocks saw a decline of 0.4 mb to end February at 28.6 mb, leaving them 7.2 mb or 20% below the same period last year and 4.9 mb or 14.6% lower than the five-year average.

US
In March, US total commercial oil stocks continued their downward trend for the second consecutive month, declining by 9.1 mb to 1,077.3 mb. Despite this stock-draw, they were 32.9 mb or 3.2% above the five-year average, although they were in line with the same time a year ago. The draw was attributed to products, which fell by 16.3 mb, while crude increased by 7.3 mb.

US commercial crude stocks rose for the third consecutive month in March, accumulating a more-than 23 mb build since the beginning of this year. At 388.6 mb, they finished the month at the highest level since July 1990, showing a surplus of 20.6 mb or 5.6% with a year ago and 35.1 mb or 9.9% with the five-year average.

The build came from higher imports, which increased by around 100,000 b/d to average 7.7 mb/d; however, this level was very low compared with the same period last year, when crude imports reached nearly 9.0 mb/d. A continued increase in domestic production, remaining above 7.0 mb/d, also contributed to the build in US commercial crude stocks. Increased refinery inputs in March limited a further build. Indeed, US crude oil refinery inputs rose by almost 250,000 b/d to average 14.6 mb/d, slightly higher than the same period last year. In March, US refineries operated at around 84.1%, which was 0.6 pp higher than in February and 0.3 pp more than the same time last year.

In contrast to the increase in national crude oil stocks, inventories in Cushing declined by 1.7 mb in March to end the month at 49.2 mb, while leaving the stock overhang some 22% above last yearís level. An improved pipeline infrastructure in West Texas should continue to relieve some pressure on Cushing inventories.

Total product stocks dropped in March for the third consecutive month, ending at 688.7 mb. With this draw, product inventories widened the deficit with a year ago to 25.2 mb from 17.1 mb a month earlier. All products saw a drop, with gasoline and distillates experiencing the largest declines.

Gasoline stocks fell for the second consecutive month, by 7.2 mb, ending March at 220.7 mb. Despite this draw, they were 1.9 mb or 0.9% above the year-ago level 1.3 mb or 0.6% higher than the seasonal average. The decline was driven mainly by lower gasoline production, which declined by around 90,000 b/d to average 8.8 mb/d, since demand remained almost at the same level as in the previous month.

Distillate stocks also saw a drop of 7.4 mb in March, to end at 113.0 mb. With this stock-draw, they were 20.8 mb or 15.6% below the year-ago level and 23.3 mb or 17.1% lower than the seasonal norm. Higher exports, mainly to Latin America, were behind the distillate stock-draw, as production and demand remained almost unchanged from the previous month.

Residual fuel oil stocks declined by 1.6 mb to finish March at 35.8 mb. This meant that they were 0.5 mb or 1.3% lower than a year ago, with a deficit of 2.6 mb or 6.8% on the seasonal norm. Jet fuel stocks also fell in March, by 0.3 mb, to stand at 39.4 mb. At this level, they were 0.3 mb or 0.8% higher than the same month a year ago, although still 1.1 mb or 2.8% below the latest five-year average.

Japan
In February, total commercial oil stocks in Japan reversed the build of the last month and declined by a considerable 11.3 mb to end at 155.9 mb. At this level, they were 1.8 mb or 1.2% below the same period a year ago and 8.3 mb or 5.1% below the last five-year average. The total drop came from crude, which declined by 13.0 mb, while product stocks increased by 1.7 mb.

Japanese commercial crude oil stocks declined in February, reversing the build in January and ending the month at 86.2 mb. This meant that they were 6.1 mb below the same time a year ago and 8.8 mb lower than the seasonal average. The fall was driven by a decline in crude oil imports, which decreased by around 500,000 b/d or 12.4% from the previous month to average 3.6 mb/d; this represented a deficit of 10.8% compared with the same time the previous year. In addition, crude stocks decreased due to an increase in crude throughput, which rose by around 100,000 b/d or 2.7% to average 3.5 mb/d. At this level, they were 2.7% lower than in the same month a year earlier. Japanese refineries were running at 84.5%, around 1.6 pp higher than in the previous month and 3.4 pp above the same period last year.

Direct crude burning in power plants declined in February by 7.1% to end at around 261,960 b/d, 30.2% lower than the same period last year. Given that the weather in February was warmer, the fall in direct crude burning reflected mainly the impact of energy conservation and substitution in the country.

On the product side, the build in Japanís total product inventories continued for a second month, ending February at 69.7 mb. This meant a surplus of 4.2 mb or 6.5% with a year ago and of 0.4 mb or 0.6% with the five-year average. The stock-build in total products came as total oil product imports rose by 3.4% in February from a month earlier. Lower exports also contributed to the build. However, higher domestic sales limited a further build. Indeed, domestic sales in Japan rose by 3.4% in February from the previous month to average 3.9 mb/d, but they were down by 7.0% from the same month a year ago.

Within products, all items experienced builds in February. Gasoline stocks rose by 0.4 mb to end February at 13.6 mb. At this level, they were 0.6 mb or 4.8% higher than a year ago, but still 0.4 mb or 2.7% below the five-year average. The build came on the back of a 3.7% decline in gasoline sales.

Distillate stocks also rose, by 0.2 mb, to end the month at 29.2 mb, leaving them at a surplus of 3.1 mb or 11.9% with a year ago and of 0.8 mb or 3.0 % with the seasonal average. Within the distillate components, jet fuel and gasoil went up, while kerosene fell. Jet fuel stocks rose by 8.5% due to a decline of nearly 15% in domestic sales consumption. Gasoil stocks also increased, by 4.4%, after a 3.9% rise in output. In contrast, kerosene stocks fell by 5.1%, reflecting lower output outpacing a decline in domestic sales.

Total residual fuel oil stocks rose by 0.6 mb to end February at 16.9 mb. This meant they were 6.4% above a year ago and 4.6% higher than the five-year average. Fuel oil A went down by 9.2%, while fuel oil B.C rose by almost 8%. The decline in fuel A stocks could be attributed to an 8.2% fall in production. Fuel oil B.C stocks saw a build, driven by the decline in sales of nearly 10%. Higher imports also supported the build in fuel oil B.C stocks. Naphtha inventories saw a build of 0.5 mb, ending February at 10.1 mb. Despite this build, they remained 5.0% below than a year ago and 7.2% lower than the five-year average. The build came from lower domestic sales, which declined by 10.1%; however, lower production limited a further build.

Singapore and Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA)
At the end of February, product stocks in Singapore fell by 0.7 mb, reversing the build of last month and ending at 42.3 mb. This stock-draw indicated a deficit of 2.3 mb or 5.1% with a year ago. Within products, fuel oil stocks saw a build, while middle distillate and light distillates witnessed draws.

Residual fuel oil rose for the second consecutive month, by 0.9 mb, ending February at 21.6 mb. Despite this build, they showed a deficit of 0.2 mb or 1.0% with the same time a year ago. This stock-build was mainly due to higher imports from the west. Higher imports from the Middle East and India also contributed.

Middle distillate stocks fell by 1.3 mb in February, reversing the build of the last month and ending the month at 10.2 mb. This draw meant a deficit of 0.9 mb or 8.2% with the same period a year ago. The fall in middle distillate stocks was attributed to higher exports amid stronger demand in Indonesia. Higher diesel imports from some middle distillate countries also contributed to drawing stocks from Singapore. Light distillate stocks fell, by 0.3 mb, after experiencing builds for the last three months, and ended February at 10.5 mb, leaving them 1.2 mb or 9.9% below the same period last year. This stock-draw came mainly from higher exports outpacing imports to Singapore.

Product stocks in ARA fell by 2.1 mb in February, reversing the builds of the last two months to stand at 30.4 mb. This meant that they were 3.8 mb or 11.0% lower than the same time last year. Within products, the picture was mixed. Gasoline, fuel oil and jet fuel experienced drops, while gasoil witnessed a build. Naphtha remained unchanged.

Gasoline fell by 1.0 mb, reversing the builds of the last two months and ending February at 5.2 mb. This saw them at the same level as this time last year. The stock-draw came from lower levels of arrival to the ARA hub, outpacing departures towards the US, Argentina and Mexico. Refineries pumped more gasoline to take advantage of strong overseas demand. Fuel oil stocks also fell, by 0.9 mb, reversing the builds of the last two months and ending February at 4.6 mb, which was 0.1 mb or 1.7% lower than the same period a year ago. Jet fuel stocks also saw a drop of 0.2 mb and ended February at 2.3 mb, which was almost 50% lower than the same level last year.

Gasoil stocks saw a minor build of 0.1 mb in February, after increasing by more than 3 mb in January. At 17.5 mb, ARA gasoline stocks were at their highest level since April 2012, although still 1.3 mb or 6.8% lower than the same period a year ago. In February, naphtha stocks remained unchanged from the previous month, ending at 0.8 mb and showing a deficit of almost 17% from the same time last year.

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