Oil Futures Mixed in Midday Trade

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange moved mixed in midmorning trade Wednesday, with front-month RBOB futures slipping 1% after federal data reported gasoline stockpiles gained during the week ended July 24 and commercial crude supplies fell sharply as refiners ramped up run rates.

Near 11:35 a.m. ET, NYMEX September West Texas Intermediate crude futures advanced 43 cents to trade near $41.50 per barrel (bbl) and front-month ULSD futures traded 1.45 cents higher to $1.2566 gallon. NYMEX RBOB August futures declined 1.49 cents to $1.2507 gallon after the Energy Information Administration reported domestic gasoline stockpiles increased by 653,984 bbl last week to 247.4 million bbl, moving off a 17-week low.

Demand for motor gasoline moved higher last week, up by 259,000 barrels per day bpd or 3% to 8.809 million bpd, 7.8% lower than the same time a year ago.

Demand for distillate fuels, which includes diesel and fuel oil, increased 412,000 bpd or 13% during the reviewed week to 3.635 million bpd, down 6.4% from last year's level, EIA reports. Government data also showed distillate stocks rose last week, up 503,008 bbl to 178.4 million bbl, 31.3% more than this time last year.

Domestic crude-oil supplies dropped down 10.6 million bbl to 526.0 million bbl as refinery run rates jumped 1.6% on week to 79.5%, the data show. Markets mostly expected U.S. crude stocks to decline by about 2.1 million bbl on week.

At the key Cushing supply depot in Oklahoma, the delivery location for the NYMEX WTI futures contract, inventory posted a fourth straight weekly gain, up 1.309 million bbl to 51.421 million bbl. In the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, EIA data show stocks held steady at 656.147 million bbl last week.

The data show U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.6 million bpd during the week ended July 24, 389,000 bpd higher than the previous week and the highest level since the final week of March. Domestic production held steady at 11.1 million bpd in the week profiled.

Total commercial petroleum inventories dropped 6.5 million bbl last week, EIA reported. Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 18.3 million bpd, down 13.1% from the same four weeks in 2019.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges