Oil Futures Deepen Losses as Crude Inventories Rise

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Crude and refined products futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange accelerated losses in mid-morning trade Wednesday. This followed government data from the Energy Information Administration that detailed a third consecutive weekly increase in U.S. crude oil inventories through Nov. 5, offsetting larger-than-expected drawdowns from refined fuels stockpiles and higher crude demand from domestic refineries.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels (bbl) from the previous week to 435.1 million bbl, and are now about 7% below the five-year average, according to EIA data released this morning. Analysts widely expected crude stockpiles would rise by 1.3 million bbl from the prior week. The build was realized even as domestic refiners increased run rates for the third consecutive week through Nov. 5, up by 0.4% to 86.7%, compared with expectations for a 0.7% increase. Oil stored at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate, fell by 34,000 bbl from the previous week to 26.4 million bbl. Gasoline inventories, meanwhile, declined 2.6 million bbl from the previous week to 211.7 million bbl, well above the calls for a 600,000 bbl draw. The larger-than-expected drawdown came even as gasoline demand weakened, down 254,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.259 million bpd.

Distillate stocks fell by larger-than-expected 2.6 million bbl to 124.5 million bpd, leaving supply about 5% below the five-year average. Analysts expected a 1.2 million bbl decline.

Distillate demand moved up off a three-week low 3.686 million bpd, surging 594,000 bpd last week -- directionally in line with a 3.1% increase seen in DTN Refined Fuel data. Total diesel consumption in the U.S. was up 7.1% relative to the same week in 2019, strengthening further on a relative seasonal basis after being up 4.4% compared to 2019 levels, according to DTN data.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.2 million bpd, up by 6.1% from the same period last year. Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.4 million bpd, up by 11.2% from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 4.0 million bpd over the past four weeks, up by 3.0% from

the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied was up 45.2% compared with the same four-week period last year.

Near 11:30 a.m. EST, NYMEX December WTI futures slumped $1.25 to trade at $82.89 per bbl, and NYMEX December RBOB futures declined $4.31 to 2.3311 per gallon while the front-month ULSD contract traded at $2.4907 per gallon, down 1.82 cents on the session so far.

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

Liubov Georges