Platts Pre-Report Survey of Analysts’ EIA/API Estimates Suggests a Build of 1.25 Million Barrels in U.S. Crude Oil Stocks

New York - April 15, 2013

Platts Survey of Analysts

  • Crude oil stocks up 1.25 million barrels

  • Gasoline stocks down 1.1 million barrels

  • Distillates stocks down 850,000 barrels

  • Refinery utilization, or run rate, up 0.5 percentage point to 87.3% of capcity

U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are expected to have risen 1.25 million barrels in the reporting week that ended April 12, said analysts polled Monday by Platts.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its weekly report at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) Tuesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is scheduled to release its weekly data at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) Wednesday.

A build of this size would be in line with the seasonal week-on-week change in the EIA five-year average.

"We normally see a bigger build as we push through the last few weeks of turnaround season," Oil Outlooks president Carl Larry said. "This year, though, there's a few different things at play."

"We'll see higher domestic production, but the imports are going to continue to stay low or possibly even lower. This will give us that extra inventory, but not enough to make us think that supply is going to get out of control," he added.

Analysts expect U.S. refinery utilization rates to increase by 0.5 percentage point as more U.S. refineries complete seasonal maintenance.

U.S. gasoline stocks are expected to have fallen 1.1 million barrels in the week ended April 12, slightly less than the draw suggested by the EIA five-year average.

Larry, who expects gasoline stocks to fall by 1.5 million barrels, sees demand likely increasing to around 8.8 million barrels per day (b/d).

U.S. implied demand* for gasoline was 8.477 million b/d for the reporting week that ended April 5, EIA data shows. This is down from 8.681 million b/d for that week in 2012, and well below the five-year average of 9.1 million b/d.

U.S. distillate stocks are expected to fall slightly by 850,000 barrels, analysts said.

* Implied demand is the amount of product that moves through the U.S. distribution system, not actual end consumption.

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