US crude oil stocks posted an increase of 7.5 MMBbl. Gasoline and distillate inventories decreased 0.1 MMBbl and 2.0 MMBbl respectively. Yesterday afternoon, API reported a crude oil build of 6.0 MMBbl alongside a gasoline build of 1.1 MMBbl and a distillate draw of 2.3 MMBbl. Analysts were expecting a smaller crude oil build of 2.9 MMBbl. Total petroleum inventories posted a decrease of 1.0 MMBbl.
US crude oil production increased by 100 MBbl/d last week, per EIA. Crude oil imports were up 0.36 MMBbl/d last week to an average of 7.0 MMBbl/d. Refinery inputs averaged 16 MMBbl/d (48 MBbl/d more than last week’s average).
March WTI futures settled Tuesday at $49.94/bbl (up $0.37/bbl) as market participants took a breather from the selling that marked the prior two sessions. Although efforts to control the spread of Wuhan coronavirus (now designated COVID-19 by the World Health Organization) have had a severe and negative impact on prompt physical market conditions, market participants found relief in yesterday’s reports showing that the number of new cases per day in China is decreasing. However, the market is not out of the woods yet as Russia continues to study the proposed 600 MBbl/d production cut discussed at last week’s OPEC+ technical committee meeting. Russian Energy Minister Alexei Novak plans to discuss the proposed cuts with major domestic oil producers on Wednesday.