Crude oil inventory surged +2.76 mmb to 360.6 mmb in the week ended April 30. Compared with market expectation of a +1.1 mmb build, the actual increase was more than double and a large part of it was driven by Cushing stock which soared +1.68 mmb to a record high of 36.2 mmb. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles also rose, by +1.26 mmb and +0.57, respectively.

WTI crude oil price slumped to 79.15, the lowest level since March 22, before the report as Moody's warned of downgrading Portugal. Contagion fears linger in investors' mind. Oil price recovered to above 80 after the report. We see it as a technical rebound rather than any positive news suggested by the inventory data.

Weekly change in inventory as of 30/04/10
Actual
Change
Market Expectation
Previous

Crude oil
360.6 mmb
+2.76 mmb
+1.10mmb
+1.96 mmb

Gasoline
224.9 mmb
+1.26 mmb
+0.20 mmb
-1.24mmb

Distillate
152.4 mmb
+0.57 mmb
+1.70 mmb
+2.94 mmb

Comparison between API and EIA reports:

     

 
 
API (Apr 30)
 
 
EIA (Apr 30 )
 

 
Actual
Inventory
Previous
 
Forecast (using API's inventory level)
Inventory

Crude oil
+3.00 mmb
362.7 mmb
+5.34 mmb
 
+4.18 mmb
363 mmb

Gasoline
+1.50 mmb
223.3 mmb
+0.66 mmb
 
-0.39mmb
223 mmb

Distillate
+1.70 mmb
150.6 mmb
+1.36 mmb
 
-1.22 mmb
151 mmb

     

API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, 76% of the time, using data in the past 4 years.

Source: Bloomberg, API, EIA