US Stock Movements in December 2014

Source: OPEC 1/10/2015, Location: North America

Preliminary data for November shows that total commercial oil stocks fell by 11.0 mb for the second consecutive month to stand at 1,121.2 mb. Despite this drop, they were 25.4 mb, or 2.3%, above the latest five-year average and 26.8 mb, or 2.5%, higher than in the same period a year ago. Within components, commercial product stocks saw a drop of 10.1 mb, while commercial crude stocks fell slightly by 0.9 mb.

US commercial crude stocks fell in November to stand at 379.3 mb. At this level, crude commercial stocks finished the month at 2.8 mb, or 0.8%, above the same time last year, and remained 23.3 mb, or 6.5%, above the latest five-year average. The fall in commercial crude stocks was mainly driven by higher US crude oil refinery input, averaging nearly 16.0 mb/d, which was about 500,000 b/d more than a month earlier. Refineries operated at around 89.1% of operable capacity in November, 2.9 pp higher than the previous month. A further drop in US commercial crude stocks was limited by higher crude imports. Indeed, US crude imports rose by around 30,000 b/d to stand at 7.3 mb/d. In contrast, crude at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 2.5 mb in November to 23.9 mb, but this was more than 19.0 mb down from the same time a year ago. In November, total product stocks fell by 10.1 mb for the second consecutive month to stand at 741.9 mb. Despite this stock draw, US product stocks were 22.6 mb, or 3.1%, above the levels seen at the same time a year ago and showed a surplus of 3.5 mb, or 0.5%, above the seasonal norm. Within products, the picture was mixed, gasoline and residual fuel oil saw a stock build, while distillates and jet fuel experienced a stock draw.

Gasoline stocks rose by 3.8 mb reversing the drop of last month and ending November at 208.6 mb, which was 8.6 mb, or 3.9%, lower than the same period a year ago and 8.5 mb, or 3.9%, less than the latest five-year average. The build came mainly from higher gasoline output, which increase by around 220,000 b/d reaching 9.5 mb/d. Higher gasoline demand, which rose by about 230,000 b/d to stand at 9.2 mb/d, limited a further stock build in gasoline.

Residual fuel oil stocks also rose by 1.1 mb to end November at 37.6 mb, which is 1.8 mb or 5% higher than last year in the same period, while they remained 0.4 mb, or 1.0%, below than the seasonal norm. This build is mainly attributed to lower residual fuel demand.

In contrast, distillate stocks fell by 3.5 mb in November following a drop of 11.6 mb in October. At 116.2 mb, they were 5.1 mb, or 4.2%, less than the same period a year ago and indicated a deficit of 27.1 mb, or 18.9%, with the five-year average. The fall in middle distillate stocks reflected mainly higher apparent demand as increased output limited a further build in distillate stocks.

Jet fuel stocks also fell by 1.4 mb, ending November at 35.7 mb, which is 1.3 mb, or 3.5%, less than the same month a year ago and 5.6 mb, or 13.5%, below the latest five-year average.


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