Petroleum traders were taken aback this morning as crude oil inventories saw a significant draw of 6.9 million barrels. This decline was primarily driven by a massive plunge of 11 million barrels in Gulf Coast stocks, partly attributed to tax avoidance.
In parallel, gasoline stocks also experienced a fall of 600,000 barrels, as U.S. refiners ramped up total input to over 17 million barrels per day. This increase of 168,000 barrels per day resulted in the release of more than 10 million barrels per day of gasoline into the market, as well as over 5.1 million barrels per day of distillate.
On the other hand, distillate stocks saw a rise of 800,000 barrels, including a notable 1.9-million-barrel build in the Northeast region.
Surprisingly, there was a brisk demand for gasoline, with an estimated consumption rate of 9.168 million barrels per day. Furthermore, companies exported around 600,000 barrels per day more gasoline than they imported.
Prior to the report, crude oil prices had declined by 60-80 cents per barrel, while RBOB (Reformulated Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending) dropped by 2.5-3 cents per gallon. ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) values remained flat due to the expectation of some seasonable weather. Following a brief period of analysis, crude oil futures softened by 40 cents per barrel, with RBOB down 1.5 cents per gallon in quiet trading. Diesel futures remained relatively stable.