Crude oil inventories rose more than expected last week, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday morning. However, gasoline stocks unexpectedly declined.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels in the week ended April 24. Economists predicted a more modest build of 1.8 million barrels.
Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels last week. Experts predicted a build of 900,000 barrels.
Distillate fuel inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.7 million barrels. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 5.5 million barrels last week, and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 18.4 million barrels per day, down by 6.8 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand fell 0.5 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand was down by 10.5 percent from the same period last year and jet fuel demand was 11.8 percent lower.
Crude oil prices remained above $50 per barrel following the report. Light sweet crude for June delivery moved at $50.50, up 88 cents on the session. Prices touched as high as $51.42 shortly after the data was made public before easing.
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