Crude oil stockpiles in the USA increase by 1.6 million barrels on a weekly basis.

By Le Figaro with AFP


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This increase occurs despite a sharp acceleration in refinery activity. maxximmm /

Commercial stocks of crude oil resumed their rise last week in the United States, according to figures published on Wednesday by the American Energy Information Agency (EIA), recording their tenth increase in eleven weeks. During the week ended March 10, commercial reserves increased by 1.6 million barrels, almost in line with the consensus established by the Bloomberg agency (+1.5 million).

This increase comes despite a marked acceleration in activity at refineries, whose utilization rate climbed to 88.2% last week, against 86.0% in the previous period, the highest since the end of December. This paradox is explained by an adjustment of the figures of the EIA, which added some 15.6 million barrels over the week to the quantities officially in circulation, a statistical modification which generally testifies to an error of initial estimate.

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For Matt Smith, of Kpler, this is due to an overestimation of exports and the rate of utilization of refinery capacities. The quantities exported being less than announced and the refineries using less crude than expected, the volumes of oil available on the American market are therefore significantly higher than the EIA had suggested so far, which explains the increase in commercial stocks.

Gasoline inventories down 2.1 million barrels

At the same time, demand for refined products emerged at a still weak level. Over four weeks, the indicator favored by analysts reached 19.6 million barrels per day, or 6% less than last year at the same time. Mainly in question, distilled products, including diesel, down 12% compared to last year, and propane, whose demand is 24% lower than the same period of 2022.

For Matt Smith, the fall of 2.1 million barrels of gasoline stocks is not linked to a renewed appetite for this fuel but to the same statistical anomaly which gave rise to an adjustment. As for production, it remained unchanged at 12.2 million barrels per day.

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