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Analyzing US Gasoline Inventories and Demand

06 December 2017

USA crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Oil-market observers will be watching closely Wednesday for official weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Oil prices edge up on expected drop in USA crude stocks " That's a pretty bearish number on gasoline", Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors in Houston, said by telephone.

USA crude oil imports averaged 7.2 million barrels per day last week-a decrease of 127,000 barrels per day from the previous week. The EIA today confirmed a large build of 6.8 million barrels.

U.S. gasoline demand fell by 871,000 bpd (barrels per day) or 9% to 8,724,000 bpd on November 17-24, according to the EIA. Total volume traded was about 8% below the 100-day average.

Before the EIA report, benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for January delivery traded down about 1.1% at around $56.83 a barrel, and it inched up to around $56.95 after the report's release but slipped to around $56.77 minutes later. Distillate product supplied averaged over 3.9 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, up by 0.6% compared with the same period a year ago. Both WTI and Brent crude benchmarks continued to fall in after-hours trading yesterday, settling at $57.36 and $62.60 respectively around 9:00pm EST.

For the past week, crude imports averaged 7.2 million barrels a day, down by 127,000 barrels a day compared with the previous week.

While the offsetting products build cuts into bullish oil sentiments somewhat, the weekly development still contributes to the nation's and world's slow rebalancing of oil supply and demand following nearly two years of glut that caused crude prices to crash. Over the past 12 months, Exxon stock has traded down about 5.1%.