March heating oil traded higher during the early morning hours and appeared to be the upside leader within the crude oil complex. Thursday's EIA inventory data showed a marginally higher than expected build in distillate stocks, with an increase of 1.038 million barrels to stand 8.659 million above last year and 23.851 million above the five year average. Distillate imports came in at 241,000 barrels per day compared to 368,000 the previous week. Average total distillate demand for the past four weeks was up 1.83% compared to last year. EIA heating oil stocks fell 809,000 barrels, 2.670 million barrels above last year but 2.990 million below the five year average.