Crude, oil product stocks fall last week-API
Thursday, 26 April 2012 | 00:00
U.S. crude oil inventories fell in the latest week for the first time in five weeks, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday, with oil product inventories also declining.
Stockpiles of crude in the world's top consumer fell by 985,000 barrels in the week to April 20, compared with analyst expectations of a 2.7-million-barrel build.
Over the previous four weeks, U.S. crude stocks had swelled by more than 21 million barrels as a result of stronger imports. Imports fell by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the latest week to 8.94 million bpd.
Stockpiles of crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange's futures contract rose by 565,000 barrels.
U.S. crude oil futures traded up 69 cents at $10.380 barrel in post-settlement activity following the release of the data, after settling at $103.55.
Oil product stocks also fell.
Gasoline stockpiles were down more sharply than expected, off 3.6 million barrels for the week, after a Reuters poll of analysts had predicted a drawdown of 900,000 barrels.
"The surprise draw in crude and big draw in gasoline could give support to prices," said Richard Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist and founder of iitrader.com in Chicago.
On the East Coast, where gasoline is in focus due to the threatened closure of three refineries, gasoline stocks dropped just 191,000 barrels in the week to April 20, the API report showed.
Distillate inventories decreased by 3.56 million barrels during the week. Analysts had predicted a build of 100,000 barrels.
Refinery utilization rose by 0.6 percentage point to 82.9 percent of capacity, compared to analyst expectations for a 0.5 percent rise.
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