Strong rise in commercial crude oil reserves in the US (+1.7 million barrels)

Commercial oil reserves in the United States increased significantly last week, according to data published Thursday by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA).

In the week ending November 30, these commercial reserves rose 1.7 million barrels (mb), above the 1.5 mb expected by analysts according to the consensus of the Bloomberg agency.

This increase is relativized by a new drop in strategic reserves, which lost another 2.7 mb and are at their lowest levels since December 1983.

The President’s Government Joe Biden began the process of rebuilding these reserves in December, with calls for offers for the provision of three million barrels, but effective purchases will only take place in a few weeks.

The increase in commercial inventories is largely due to a decline in the refinery utilization rate, which stood at 79.6%, a 22-month low, well below 92.0% last week .

According to Robert Yawger, from the Mizuho financial group, this difference is due to the effect of winter storm Elliot in the United States at the end of December, which caused disturbances in various refineries, particularly in Texas.

A slower rate at refining facilities was partially offset by a drop in imports (-9%) and a rise in exports (+21%).

This Thursday’s report showed a brutal fall in the demand for refined products in the United States, of 20% over the immediately preceding week.

This drop is particularly evident in the case of gasoline (-19%) and distilled productswhich include, among others, fuel for domestic heating (-28%).

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