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US Stock Movements

Source: OPEC 11/17/2013, Location: North America

Preliminary data for October shows that US total commercial oil stocks fell by 8.9 mb, reversing the build of the last two months, to stand at 1,116.9 mb. Despite this drop, inventories stood at 2.1 mb or 0.2% above last year at the same time and indicated a gain of 33.5 mb or 3.1% over the five-year average. This stock-draw was attributed to products as they fell by 30.6 mb, while crude stocks rose by 21.7 mb.

US commercial crude stocks rose by 21.7 mb in October, following a small build in the last month, to stand at 385.4 mb, finishing the month at 40.5 mb or 11.7% above the five-year average, which is 11.7 mb or 2.7% higher than a year ago at the same time.

The stock-draw in crude came on the back of lower crude runs, which fell nearly 700,000 b/d to stand at around 15.0 mb/d, around 100,000 b/d less than at the same time last year. The US refinery utilisation rate fell by 4.7 percentage points (pp) to 86.4% of capacity during October, but stood 0.3 pp higher than last year at the same time. The decline in crude oil imports also contributed to the drop in US commercial crude oil stocks. Indeed, US crude oil imports fell by about 290,000 b/d in October, averaging 7.7 mb/d, almost 431,000 b/d less than a year ago at the same time.

Inventories in Cushing saw a build of around 4.0 mb, ending October at 36.5 mb and reversing the drop of the last four months.

Total product stocks fell by 30.6 mb in October, reversing the build of the last six months to stand at 731.4 mb. This drop reflects the drop in refinery outputs combined with some improvement in petroleum product demand, which increased by around 400,000 b/d from the previous month, averaging 19.4 mb/d. At this level, demand is nearly 600,000 b/d above the same month a year ago. With the exception of residual fuel oil, all products saw a build, with the bulk coming from middle distillate and gasoline stocks.

Gasoline stocks fell by 9.7 mb, reversing the build of the last month and ending October at 210.0 mb. Despite this drop, they registered a surplus of 6.3 mb or 3.1% over a year earlier and 4.4 mb or 2.2% over the latest five-year average. A rise of around 300,000 b/d in apparent demand was also behind the stock-draw in gasoline inventories.

Distillate stocks fell by 11.4 mb in October, reversing the build of the last five months, to stand at 117.8 mb. At this level, distillate stocks stood at 1.3 mb or 1.1% below a year ago and remained 26 mb or 18.4% lower than the seasonal average. The fall in middle distillate stocks came mainly from higher apparent demand which increased by about 200,000 b/d, approaching 4.0 mb/d. This level is also higher than last year at the same time. Lower output, which fell by 100,000 b/d, also contributed to the fall in distillate stocks.

Residual fuel oil stocks rose slightly by 0.1 mb to finish the month of October at 34.3 mb, 3.2 mb or 8.4% lower than a year ago and 3.7 mb or 9.7% below the seasonal norm. In contrast, jet fuel stocks fell by 0.3 mb in October to stand at 39.5 mb, remaining 5.5 mb or 12% lower than the same month a year ago and 3.9 mb or 9.0% below the latest five-year average.

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