By Barani Krishnan
biedexmarkets.com — stockpiles rose for a ninth straight week last week and nearly triple the forecast number, government data showed.
rose by 7.648 million barrels during the week ended Feb. 17, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report. That extended the prior week’s outsized build of 16.283M barrels, which was the fourth largest ever in the history of the EIA’s reporting.
Industry analysts tracked by biedexmarkets.com had forecast a build of just 2.083M on average for the week ended Feb. 17.
U.S. commercial crude inventories have risen by around 60M barrels so far this year.
The climb came amid seasonal maintenance and other disruptions at U.S. refineries that foresaw less processing of crude.
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15M barrels per day last week, which was 17,000 barrels per day less than the previous week’s average.
Refineries operated at 85.9% of their operable capacity last week, the agency added. Typically, inventory runs at this time of the year are about 90% or more.
On the front, the EIA reported a draw of 1.856M, versus the forecast rise of 0.108M and against the previous week’s rise of 2.317M. Notwithstanding last week’s draw, gasoline inventories are up by more than 16M barrels since 2023 began. Automotive fuel is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.
While gasoline inventories fell, distillate stockpiles surged, rising for the fourth time in five weeks. Until last month, distillates, which are refined into , diesel for trucks, buses, trains, and ships, and fuel for jets, were the strongest component of the U.S. petroleum complex in terms of demand.
rose by 2.698M versus the expected slide of 1.126M. In the previous week, distillates drew 1.285M.