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Lower Weekly Gasoline Inventories Could Support Oil Prices

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API’s gasoline inventories 

The API (American Petroleum Institute) released its weekly inventory report on March 7, 2017. It estimated that US gasoline inventories fell by 5 MMbbls (million barrels) between February 24, 2017, and March 3, 2017. US distillate inventories fell by 2.9 MMbbls during the same period.

A market survey estimates that US gasoline inventories could have fallen by 1.4 MMbbls between February 24, 2017, and March 3, 2017. US distillate inventories could have fallen by 0.9 MMbbls during the same period.

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Changes in refined product inventories also impact crude oil (USL) (RYE) (PXI) prices. A larger-than-expected fall in gasoline and distillate inventories is bullish for gasoline prices. When gasoline prices rise, they can impact refiners’ crude oil demand, which in turn supports crude oil prices. For more on crude oil prices and its drivers, read Part 1 of this series. 

Moves in gasoline and crude oil prices could impact refiners and oil producers’ earnings like Tesoro (TSO), Warren Resources (WRES), Valero (VLO), QEP Resources (QEP), and Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI).

EIA’s gasoline inventories 

On March 8, 2017, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) will release its crude oil inventory report for the week ending March 3, 2017.

For the week ending February 24, 2017, the EIA reported that US gasoline inventories fell by 0.5 MMbbls to 255.9 MMbbls. US distillate inventories fell by 0.9 MMbbls to 164.2 MMbbls for the same period.

Impact  

A larger-than-expected fall in gasoline and distillate inventories could support gasoline and crude oil (USO) (XLE) (IEZ) prices. However, a rise in inventories could pressure gasoline and crude oil prices.

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at gasoline demand. We’ll discuss how it impacts gasoline and crude oil prices.

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