Crude oil inventories increased for a fifth straight week, according to Energy Information Administration data revealed Wednesday morning. However, the build was less than the expectations of analysts.
Prices have turned sharply higher following the report. Light sweet crude oil has surged $1.69, up $50.83 per barrel. Prices reached as high as $51.10 after earlier hitting as low as $47.37.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased 1.7 million barrels in the week ended April 3. Economists were looking for a build in inventories of about 2.3 million barrels in the recent week. At 361.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
Total motor gasoline inventories increased 600,000 barrels last week. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories rose last week.
Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 3.4 million barrels and propane/propylene inventories increased last week by 1.3 million barrels. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 2.9 million barrels last week.
On Tuesday after the close of floor trading, the American Petroleum Institute's crude oil inventory report revealed a build of 6.9 million barrels to 364.7 million in the recent week. Participation in the survey is voluntary, while refineries are required to report for the EIA data.
Last week's data showed crude oil inventories increased 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Experts were looking for a build of about 3 million barrels. Total motor gasoline inventories increased 2.2 million barrels last week. A drop of about 1.5 million barrels was expected.
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