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US Stock Movements - September 2015

Source: OPEC 9/27/2015, Location: North America

Preliminary data for August shows that total commercial oil stocks in the US rose by 15.1 mb, reversing the decline of the previous month to stand at 1,288.9 mb. At this level, they were 158.2 mb or 14% above the same period a year ago and 169.5 mb or 15.1% higher than the latest five-year average. Within the components, product stocks went up by 14.9 mb, while crude saw a slight build of 0.2 mb.

US commercial crude stocks rose slightly in August, reversing the fall of the last three months to stand at 455.4 mb. Crude commercial stocks finished the month at 94.8 mb or 26.3% above the same time last year and 96.7 mb or 27.0% above the latest five-year average. Lower crude oil refinery input contributed to the stock-build. Indeed, refinery runs fell by around 110,000 b/d to average 16.7 mb/d. Refineries were running at around 93.6% of operable capacity in August, 0.6 pp lower than in the previous month, but 1.6% higher than last year at the same time. An increase in crude oil imports also contributed to the build in crude oil inventories. Crude at Cushing, Oklahoma, saw also a stock-build of 0.2 mb in August versus the previous month, to end the month at 57.3 mb.

Total product stocks rose by 14.9 mb in August for the sixth consecutive month. At 833.5 mb, US product stocks were at around 63.5 mb or 8.2% above the level seen at the same time a year ago, showing a surplus of 72.8 mb or 9.6% above the seasonal norm. Within products, the picture was mixed. Distillates and residual fuel oil saw a build, while gasoline and jet fuel experienced drops.

Distillate stocks rose by 5.1 mb in August, ending the month at 150.0 mb. At this level, they indicated a surplus of 21.8 mb or 17.0% from the same period a year ago, and stood 7.6 mb or 5.3% above the latest five-year average. The build in middle distillate stocks was driven by lower demand, which decreased by around 20,000 b/d, averaging 3.7 mb/d. Residual fuel oil inventories also rose by 0.7 mb to 40.2 mb, which was 2.7 mb or 7.1% higher than last year over the same period and 3.3 mb or 8.9% above the seasonal norm.

In contrast, gasoline stocks fell by 2.6 mb in August for the sixth consecutive month to stand at 214.2 mb. At this level, gasoline stocks were 2.3 mb or 1.1% lower than the same period a year ago and 1.5 mb or 0.7% above the latest five-year average. The drop came mainly from ongoing higher demand reaching more than 9.5 mb/d. Higher gasoline production, which reached nearly 10.0 mb/d, limited a further drop in gasoline inventories. Jet fuel stocks also fell by 0.8 mb, ending August at 42.5 mb. At this level, jet fuel stocks stood 6.9 mb or 19.4% higher than in the same month a year ago, and were 0.8 mb or 1.9% above the latest five-year average.

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