The Department of Energy released its weekly report on the condition of petroleum inventories in the United States today.
Here are some highlights:
Crude oil inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels to a total of 360.6 million barrels. At 360.6 million barrels, inventories are 2.6% lower than last year, but remain above average. Supply at NYMEX delivery point, Cushing, Oklahoma rose to a whopping 36.2 million barrels, the most ever recorded. This is important because Cushing is the delivery point for oil traded on the NYMEX.
Gasoline inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels to a total of 224.9 million barrels. At 224.9 million barrels, inventories are 5.7% higher than last year. With inventories near 6% higher than a year ago going into mid-May, things are shaping up for prices to fall after Memorial Day.
Distillate inventories increased by 0.6 million barrels to a total of 152.4 million barrels. At 152.4 million barrels, inventories are 2.9% higher than a year ago. Distillate fuel is an important indicator of the economy as it is used widely in industry and construction.
Refinery utilization jumped slightly to 89.6%, a gain of 0.6% over last week's numbers. Gasoline production decreased last week to nearly 9.1 million barrels per day.
Overall, a great report as total commercial inventories increased by 9.8 million barrels, bringing the two week increase to nearly 24 million barrels.
This report couldn't have come at a better time for motorists as I expect it to continue to put downward pressure on crude prices that have lost nearly 8% in just two days. Gasoline futures have also traded down significantly, meaning lower pump prices may be just around the corner.