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US Stock Movement in December 2013

Source: OPEC 12/24/2013, Location: North America

Preliminary data for November shows that US total commercial oil stocks fell by 26.4 mb for the second consecutive month to stand at 1,090.5 mb. Despite this drop, inventories stood at 9.2 mb or 0.9% above the five-year average but indicated a deficit of 23.1 mb or 2.1% from last year at the same time. This stock-draw was attributed to products as they fell by 26.8 mb, while crude stocks rose slightly by 0.4 mb. After ten weeks of builds, US commercial crude stocks fell by 5.6 mb in the week ending 29 November to stand at 385.8 mb. Despite this drop, they are 40.8 mb or 11.8% above the five-year average and 7.2 mb or 1.9% higher than a year ago at the same time.

The stock-draw in crude during the last week of November came on the back of higher crude runs, which rose by nearly 555,000 b/d to stand at around 16.1 mb/d from a week earlier. Refineries operated at 92.4% of capacity from 89.4% a week earlier. The rise of crude oil imports limited a further build in US commercial crude oil stocks. Indeed, US crude oil imports rose by 91,000 b/d during the week ending 29 November, averaging 7.8 mb/d, but are about 1.1 mb/d below the five-year average. Inventories in Cushing saw a build of around 4.0 mb for the second consecutive month, ending November at 40.6 mb. Looking forward, the announcement by TransCanada that the southern leg of its Keystone pipeline will begin deliveries from Cushing Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, on 3 January could lead to a reduction in Cushing inventories in the coming months.

Total product stocks fell by 26.8 mb in November, following a drop of 33.0 mb in October, ending the month at 704.7 mb. With this fall, US product stocks stood at 23.1 mb or 2.1% below a year ago at the same time, and represented a deficit of 31.6 mb or 4.3% below the seasonal norm. This drop is mainly attributed to the increase by around 600,000 b/d in petroleum product demand to average 20.1 mb/d. The drop in refinery output also contributed to the fall in US commercial product stocks. Within products, the bulk of the decline came from other unfinished products and distillates.

Distillate stocks fell by 4.3 mb for the second consecutive month, ending November at 113.5 mb. At this level, distillate stocks stood at 4.3 mb or 3.7% below a year ago and remained 32.6 mb or 22.3% lower than the seasonal average. The fall in middle distillate stocks came mainly due to lower output, which declined by 120,000 b/d to average 4.9 mb/d. A slight improvement in apparent demand also impacted the decline in distillate stocks.

Gasoline stocks rose by 2.4 mb, reversing the drop of the last month and ending November at 212.4 mb. Despite this build, they saw a deficit of 2.4 mb or 1.1% over a year earlier and 2.0 mb or 0.9% below the latest five-year average. A drop of around 90,000 b/d in apparent demand was behind the stock-build in gasoline inventories.

Residual fuel oil stocks rose by 0.5 mb to finish the month of November at 34.8 mb, 2.8 mb or 7.4% lower than a year ago and 3.7 mb or 9.6% below the seasonal norm. In contrast, jet fuel stocks fell by 3.2 mb in October to stand at 36.3 mb, remaining 2.8 mb or 7.4% lower than the same month a year ago and 3.7 mb or 9.6% below the latest five-year average.

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