MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude inventories last week dropped for a third straight week while fuel demand rose to its highest since March 2020, reported Reuters with reference to the Energy Information Administration's statement.
Crude inventories fell by 3 million barrels in the week to Aug. 20, slightly higher than analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.7 million-barrel drop. At 432.6 million barrels, crude stocks were at their lowest since January 2020.
After 10 consecutive weekly drawdowns, stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures rose by 70,000 barrels last week, the EIA said.
"A tick higher in refinery runs and a tick lower in imports has yielded a third consecutive draw to crude inventories - dropping them to their lowest since late January 2020," said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. "The inventory draw came despite a tick lower in refining activity on the US Gulf Coast."
Refinery crude runs rose by 66,000 barrels per day and refinery utilization rates rose by 0.2 percentage point to 92.4% of total capacity.
Net US crude imports rose last week by 426,000 bpd, the EIA said.
US total product supplied, a proxy for fuel demand, rose last week to 21.8 million bpd, the highest since March 2020, the data showed.
Both crude and gasoline prices gained after the report. US. crude rose 8 cents, or 0.2%, to USD67.62 a barrel by 11:13 a.m. ET (1513 GMT), while Brent was up 48 cents, or 0.6% at USD71.53 a barrel. US gasoline futures were up 2.5%.
As MRC informed previously, crude oil stockpiles fell modestly in early August, while gasoline inventories dipped to their lowest level since November, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Crude inventories fell by 447,000 barrels in the week to Aug. 6 to 438.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel drop. Overall crude inventories have been on the decline for several weeks due to increased demand.
We remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.