US crude, fuel stocks see one of the least consequential weekly changes for 2023

US crude, fuel stocks see one of the least consequential weekly changes for 2023 US crude stockpiles grew by less than half of forecast levels while gasoline and distillate balances saw modest changes as well in one of the least consequential weekly inventory reports for the year, released on Wednesday by the government.

The US crude rose by 0.773 million barrels during the week ended Oct 20, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report. 

Analysts on Wall Street energy desks had expected the EIA to report an inventory build of 1.802M barrels for the just-ended week, a consensus of their forecasts showed. In the prior week to Oct 13, the agency reported a build of 1.371M. 

Exports of crude, usually one of the bright spots in the weekly inventory report, was uneventful too, with 4.897M barrels per day cited for last week versus the prior week’s daily export rate of 4.833M.

The only eventful item on the EIA report was probably the change in crude stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub, which serves as delivery point for futures contracts of the benchmark West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Cushing storage levels have dropped drastically this year, prompting concerns they might reach such critical lows to complicate operations at the storage hub. 

Despite such concerns, Cushing storage levels grew by 0.272M barrels last week, the EIA report showed, after a prior gain of 0.213M.

On the gasoline front, there was a build of 0.065M barrels on top of the previous gain of 0.156M and analysts’ consensus for a decline of 0.133M.

With distilate, there was a drop of 0.792M barrels on top of the prior week’s deficit of 1.686M and analysts’ consensus for a drop of 1.0M. Distillates are refined into heating oil, diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships and fuel for jets.

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