U.S. crude stocks climb 2nd week in row, adding 3.3 million barrels - API

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U.S. crude stocks climb 2nd week in row, adding 3.3 million barrels - API
Credit: © Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com -- U.S. crude stockpiles rose for a second week in a row versus expectations for a decline, petroleum industry group API said in a report Tuesday that is likely to be matched to some extent by forthcoming government data.

U.S. crude inventories expanded by 3.262 million barrels during the week ended March 17, the API, or American Petroleum Institute, said.

The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, or EIA, is scheduled to provide an update on Wednesday of where crude stockpiles stood at the close of business on March 17.

In the previous week to March 10, the EIA reported a crude inventory build of 1.55M barrels. The API’s numbers serve as a precursor to the EIA’s data on the same, with the government agency reporting of late numbers that have not varied greatly with those cited by the industry group.

Should the EIA report a large crude inventory build as well for last week, it could cast a pall over the supply-demand outlook for oil just as the market attempts to rebound from last week’s price collapse forced by the U.S. banking crisis.

Notwithstanding the crude build, the API inventory report showed declines in inventories of major fuel products gasoline and distillates. There was a 1.09M-barrel draw in gasoline stocks for last week and a 1.84M-barrel slide in distillate stockpiles.

For last week, analysts tracked by Investing.com expect the EIA to report a crude stockpile drop of 1.565M barrels, versus the 1.55M barrel rise reported during the week to March 10.

On the gasoline inventory front, the consensus is for a drop of 1.677M barrels over the 2.061M-barrel decline in the previous week. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.

With distillate stockpiles , the expectation is for a drop of 1.5M barrels versus the prior week’s deficit of 2.537M. Distillates, which are refined into heating oil , diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships and fuel for jets, have been the strongest component of the U.S. petroleum complex in terms of demand.

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