By mid-afternoon in New York the price of crude was down 1.3% at $97.25 a barrel, retreating from a six-week high after a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that gasoline and diesel inventories rose sharply last week.
We have seen crude supplies drawn down substantially in the last few weeks, as a result of high run rates at refineries, but the big increase in stockpiles of the refined products suggests that the demand isn’t there at the moment to justify the high capacity utilisation at the refineries.
The EIA said that the crude stockpile dropped by 10.6 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories increased by 6.72 million and distillate inventories jumped 4.54 million. The draw in crude was far larger than expected, but the builds in the refined products were also far higher than forecast, being some of the biggest seen all year. The stockpile of crude at Cushing, Oklahoma also increased.
Gasoline futures were down 0.96% in the afternoon in New York.