Preliminary data for April shows total OECD commercial oil stocks rising by 19.2 mb
for the second consecutive month, ending the month at 2,677 mb. At this level,
inventories were in line with the five-year average, but showed a surplus of 6.4 mb
compared to the same time a year ago. Within the components, crude and products
increased by 9.2 mb and 10.0 mb, respectively.
At 1,308 mb, OECD crude commercial stocks stood at a comfortable level, with a
surplus of 17.9 mb over the five-year average and 3.7 mb above the same time a year
earlier. In contrast, product stocks ended the month of April at 1,369 mb, remaining
tight and showing a deficit of 19.0 mb with the seasonal average. However, they
started to improve compared with the previous year as they indicated a surplus of
2.8 mb. The three regions within the OECD saw a build in April, with the bulk of the
increase coming from OECD America stocks which rose by 12.5 mb, followed by a
5.4 mb build in Europe and a 1.3 mb build in OECD Asia-Pacific.
OECD Americasí inventories rose by 12.5 mb, reversing the drop of the last two
months to end April at 1,353 mb. With this build, inventories widened the surplus over
the same time last year to 25.2 mb from 11.0 mb a month earlier. In addition, they are
nearly 50.0 mb higher than the seasonal norm. This surplus was mainly driven by
crude stocks, which stood at 15.9 mb above a year ago and nearly 41 mb above the
five-year average. US crude oil inventories continued to climb since the beginning of
this year, reaching a 30-year high and ending the month at around 395 mb. This
comfortable level of US crude commercial stocks came mainly on a continued increase
in US domestic production averaging 7.3 mb. Higher crude oil imports, especially in the
last week of the month, also contributed to this build.
Total product stocks in April saw a build of 9.1 mb, reversing the drop of the last three
months and ending April at 666.0 mb. At this level, OECD Americaís product
inventories indicated a surplus of 9.3 mb with a year ago and 8.8 mb with the seasonal
average. However, within products some tightness came mainly from middle distillates,
which were reduced due to the increase in exports to Latin America. At the end of
April, middle distillates were still 20 mb below the seasonal norm, while gasoline stocks
started to improve, indicating a minor surplus of 2.0 mb.
OECD Europeís inventories reversed the downward trend of the last two months and
increased by 5.4 mb, ending the month of April at 902 mb. Despite this build, OECD
Europeís inventories are still indicating a deficit of nearly 70 mb with the five-year
average and stood around 35.7 mb lower than at the same period the year before. The
deficit with the seasonal average is attributed to both crude and products, which were down by 33.2 mb and 37.6 mb, respectively. The shortage with the previous year was
divided between crude and products, showing a deficit of around 18 mb each.
Commercial inventories in OECD Asia-Pacific rose slightly by 1.3 mb in April,
following a significant build of 26.2 mb in March to end the month at 421 mb. At this
level, they were 16.9 mb above levels during the same period a year ago and stood
20.2 mb higher than the last five-year average. Both crude and products saw a build of
0.5 mb and 0.8 mb, respectively. Lower Japanese crude runs contributed to the build
in Asia-Pacific crude inventories, which stood at 6.5 mb above a year ago and 10.4 mb
higher than the seasonal average. On the product side, OECD Asia-Pacific total
product inventories started to improve, indicating a gain of 10.4 mb over a year ago
and 9.7 mb with the last five-year average.
In term of days of forward cover, OECD commercial stocks remained unchanged in
April to stand at 59.1 days. At this level, inventories were around 1 day above the same
period last year and 1.1 days more than the latest five-year average. Despite the lower
absolute level of OECD Europeís inventories, in terms of days of forward cover, they
stood at around 67 days in April, reflecting the weakness of demand in this region.
EU plus Norway
Preliminary data for April shows that European stocks reversed the fall of last month
and increased by 5.3 mb to stand at 1,081.0 mb, which is the highest level since
August 2011. With this build, stocks ended the month 13.5 mb, or 1.3%, above the
same time last year, but are still 37.7 mb, or 3.4%, below the five-year average. The
total stock-draw came mainly from crude as products remained almost unchanged.
European crude inventories rose in April ending the month at 458.1 mb. This
represents a surplus of 10.4 mb, or 2.3%, above the year before, but is still 15.9 mb, or
3.3%, below the latest five-year average. The increase in crude oil stocks came on
lower crude runs reflecting refinery maintenance. At 10.1 mb/d, crude throughput fell
by 180,000 b/d from the previous month, also 280,000 b/d lower than the same time a
year ago. In April, European refiners cut average utilization rates to 80%.
Product stocks in Europe remained almost unchanged in April ending the month at
622.9 mb. This level represented a surplus of 3.1 mb, or 0.5%, over the same period
last year. They remained some 21.8 mb, or 3.4%, below the five-year average. Within
products, and with the exception of gasoline, all other products witnessed draws.
Gasoline stocks rose by 3.2 mb in April after being almost flat in March to stand at
117.6 mb. With this build, they widened the surplus with a year ago to 8.4% from 6.6%
a month earlier. This build also helped to switch the deficit with the five-year average
incurred last month to a surplus of 0.7%. Weak demand combined with a contango
structure of the forward gasoline market contributed to the increase in gasoline stocks;
however, low refinery throughputs limited a further build.
Distillate stocks fell by 1.9 mb for the second consecutive month to end April at
392.3 mb. Despite this fall, they are at 10.4 mb, or 2.7%, lower than a year ago and
5.9 mb, or 1.5%, below the seasonal average. The stock draw reflected mainly lower
refinery output as continued weak gasoline demand, combined with higher imports
from Russia, limited further stock draws in distillate inventories.
Residual fuel oil stocks dropped by 0.4 mb for the second consecutive month ending
April at 84.8 mb. With this drop, they were 7.3 mb, or 7.8%, lower than the year before
and 22.4 mb, or 20.9%, below the seasonal average. The fall in residual fuel oil stocks
came on the back of higher exports to Asia-Pacific, driven by strong demand for bunker
fuel. Naphtha stocks also fell by 0.9 mb to end April at 28.2 mb, and stood 13.6 mb, or
33%, below the same period last year and 6.1 mb, or 17.8%, lower than the five-year
Preliminary data for May shows that US total commercial oil stocks rose by 15.5 mb,
for the third consecutive month to stand at 1,115.1 mb. With this build, inventories
stood at 17.5 mb or 1.6% above last year at the same time and indicate a gain of
45.0 mb or 4.2% over the five-year average. The stock-build was attributed to products,
which increased by 19.7 mb, while crude abated this build, declining by 4.2 mb.
US commercial crude stocks reversed the build of the last three months and fell by
4.2 mb in May to end the month at 391.3 mb. Despite this drop, US crude oil
commercial stocks finished the month at 5.6 mb or 1.5% above a year ago and
35.9 mb or 10.1% higher than the five-year average.
The total of the stock draw in US crude came during the week ending 31 May, driven
by the fall in crude oil imports over the previous week, which declined by more than
500,000 b/d to average 7.3 mb/d. Over the whole month of May, crude oil imports
averaged 7.7 mb/d, almost unchanged from the previous month, but were 1.2 mb/d
below the same period last year. Increased refinery inputs in May have also
contributed to the drop in crude oil stocks. Indeed, US crude oil refinery inputs rose
by almost 390,000 b/d to average 15.2 mb/d, around 100,000 b/d higher than in the
same period last year. In May, US refineries operated at around 87.5%, which was
0.3 percentage points (pp) higher than in April, but still 1.6 pp less than last year at
the same time. It should be highlighted that during the week ending 31 May, US crude
production exceeded imports for the first time since early 1997 as rising output from
shale plays cut the country's dependence on foreign oil. Imports of crude dipped to
7.268 mb/d, while crude oil production rose slightly to 7.300 mb/d.
In contrast to the decline in national crude oil stocks, inventories in Cushing rose by
of 0.9 mb in May from the previous month, however, during the week ending 31 May,
stocks in Cushing declined by 0.5 mb from the previous week to stand at 50.0 mb
reflecting the increased flows from Seaway which helped to draw down inventories in
Total product stocks saw a build in May, reversing the drop of the last four months,
and ended the month at 723.8 mb. With this build, product inventories switched the
deficit with a year ago a month earlier, to a surplus of 11.9 mb or 1.7%. Compared to
the seasonal average, product stocks stood at 8.8 mb or 12% above the five-year
average. With the exception of jet and residual fuel oil, all other products saw a build,
with the bulk of the increase coming from unfinished products, distillates and gasoline.
Gasoline stocks rose by 3.7 mb reversing the drop of the last three months and
ending May at 218.8 mb. With this build, gasoline stocks stood at 13.5 mb or 6.6%
above a year ago, and 9.3 mb or 4.5% higher than the seasonal average. The build in
gasoline stocks was driven mainly by higher gasoline production, which increased by
more than 280,000 b/d to average 9.1 mb/d. However, higher demand limited a further
build in gasoline stocks.
Distillate stocks rose by 5.7 mb, reversing the drop of the last five months and ending
the month of May at 123.3 mb. This build has helped distillate stocks to switch the
deficit with a year ago during the previous month to a surplus of 1.6 mb or 1.3%.
However, distillate stocks remained at 14.2 mb or 10.3% below the seasonal norm.
Higher distillate output was behind the build in distillate stocks, as higher domestic demand abated a further build. Indeed, the four weekly averages of May show that
distillate output rose by 350,000 b/d to average 4.7 mb/d.
Residual fuel oil stocks fell by 2.2 mb to finish the month of May at 37.0 mb. At this
level, they were 3.9 mb or 11.9% higher than a year ago, but indicated a deficit of
1.8 mb or 4.7% over the seasonal norm. Jet fuel stocks also decreased by 1.2 mb in
May to stand at 39.1 mb, and remain at 0.7 mb or 1.8% lower than the same month a
year ago, and 3.0 mb or 7.1% below the latest five-year average.
In April, total commercial oil stocks in Japan rose by 1.3 mb following a 12.2 mb drop
in March and ending the month at 169.4 mb. As this level, they are 3.3 mb, or 1.9%,
below the same period a year ago, and are 3.7 mb, or 2.1%, higher than the last fiveyear
average. Both crude and products saw a build as they increased by 0.5 mb and
0.8 mb, respectively.
Japanese commercial crude oil stocks saw a build of 0.5 mb in April for the second
consecutive month to stand at 99.1 mb. Despite this build, they are still 4.4 mb below a
year ago at the same time and 2.8 mb below the five-year average.
The build in crude oil stocks was driven by the decline in crude throughput, which fell
by around 106,000 b/d, or 3.0%, averaging 3.5 mb/d. At this level, they are 1.6% lower
than levels in April 2012. Japanís refiners were running at 77.6%, around 2.4 pp lower
than in the previous month and 1.2 pp less than the same period last year. Lower
crude oil imports limited a further build in crude oil stocks. In fact, crude oil imports
decreased by around 480,000 b/d, or 11.4%, in April from the previous month, to
average 3.7 mb/d. At this level, they are 6.2% below the same time a year ago. Direct
crude burning in power plants rose by 5.1% to end April at around 194,560 b/d, but is
down by almost 40% from the same period last year.
On the product side, Japanís total product inventories saw a build of 0.8 mb,
reversing the fall of last month and ending April at 70.3 mb. At this level, they indicated
a surplus of 1.1 mb, or 1.6%, over a year ago, but they are still 0.9 mb, or 1.2%, lower
than the five-year average. The decline of 10.3% in Japanese oil product sales was
behind the increase in product stocks. However, the fall of 5.1% in refinery output from
a month earlier, limited a further build. Within products, the picture was mixed, with
gasoline and distillates seeing an increase, while naphtha and residual fuel oil stocks
Distillate stocks also rose by 1.4 mb, ending the month of April at 29.6 mb, which is
the highest level since November 2012. At this level, they are 2.3 mb, or 8.6%, higher
than a year ago and 1.9 mb, or 7.0%, above the seasonal average.
Within distillate components, all the products went up, with gasoil rising the most by
16.3%. This build was driven by higher output, which increased by 2.7%, combined
with a decline of 10% in gasoil demand. Kerosene stocks also rose by 0.7%, reflecting
lower domestic sales which fell by more than 30%. Jet fuel oil rose by 10% on the
back of higher production, which increased by 13%. The fall of 12% in demand also
contributed to the build in jet fuel inventories.
In contrast, naphtha stocks fell by 0.5 mb to finish April at 10.4 mb. At this level, they
show a deficit of 0.6 mb, or 5.1%, with a year ago, and 1.1 mb, or 9.5%, below the
seasonal norm. The 6.6% drop in naphtha stocks came from lower production. The fall
of 12% in imports also contributed to this drop; however, lower domestic sales limited a
further build. Total residual fuel oil stocks went down by 0.3 mb to end the month at
16.1 mb. At this level, they were 1.4% less than a year ago and 8.2% lower than the
five-year average. Fuel oil A inventories fell by 6.7%, while fuel oil B.C fell by 4.0%.
The fall in the two components of fuel oil stocks came on the back of lower output of
Singapore and Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA)
At the end of April, product stocks in Singapore reversed the fall of the last two
months and increased by 1.5 mb ending the month at 39.3 mb. With this stock-build,
they indicated a surplus of 0.8 mb, or 2.1%, with a year ago. Within products, the
picture was mixed; light distillates saw a drop, while fuel oil stocks and middle
distillates witnessed a build.
Light distillate stocks fell by 0.8 mb ending the month of April at 10.3 mb. This stockdraw
has caused inventories to switch to a deficit of 0.8% from a surplus of 6.7% a
month earlier. It should be noted that the last week of the month saw an increase in
light distillate stocks, which comprised mostly gasoline, driven by higher arrivals in
Singapore, combined with softer demand in the region.
Residual fuel oil rose by 2.2 mb, reversing the strong drop of the last month and
ending the month at 18.8 mb. Despite this build, residual fuel stocks remained at
0.4 mb, or 2.1%, below levels at the same time last year. The stock build reflected
mainly higher flows of Western exports to Singapore.
Middle distillate stocks rose slightly by 0.1 mb in April, ending the month at 10.2 mb.
With this stock-build, they represented a surplus of 1.3 mb, or 14.7%, over a year ago
at the same period. Lower demand from Australia and Malaysia has contributed to the
build in in diesel stocks.
Product stocks in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) fell by 0.9 mb in April
reversing the build of the last four months and ending the month at 34.4 mb. Despite
this fall, product stocks stood at 3.2 mb, or 10.3%, higher than last year at the same
time. Within products, the picture was mixed, with gasoline, naphtha and jet fuel
experiencing a build, while gasoil and fuel oil witnessed a drop.
Gasoline rose by 0.6 mb, reversing the fall of the last month and ending April at
8.5 mb. At this level, gasoline stocks stood 3.1 mb higher than last year at the same
time. Jet fuel stocks also saw a build of 0.6 mb and ended the month of March at
2.9 mb, but remained 11% below the same level last year. The build in jet fuel stocks
came in preparation for the rise in demand from the aviation sector, which is expected
to increase ahead of the summer season. Naphtha stocks rose by 0.2 mb from the
previous month and ended April at 1.3 mb, standing at 0.4 mb above the level seen at
the same time last year.
In contrast, gasoil fell by 1.7 mb, reversing the build of the last month and ending April
at 16.5 mb, which is 1.3 mb, or 7.1%, higher than a year ago over the same period.
Higher gasoil demand, combined with strong flows to Argentina, were the main
contributors of the draw in gasoil stocks. Residual fuel oil stocks saw a drop of 0.5 mb
in April after a build in March. At 5.2 mb, ARA fuel oil stocks stood at 1.3 mb, or 34%,
higher than a year ago over the same period. Higher exports from the ARA hub were
the main drivers behind the fall in fuel oil stocks.