A drop in oil imports during the December 21 week pulled down oil inventories which fell 0.6 million barrels to 371.1 million. This is the fifth draw in the last six weeks but most of the draws, like the latest, have been small. Oil inventories remain extremely heavy, classified as well above their upper limit.
Refineries sharply increased their output of gasoline where inventories show a fifth straight major build, up 3.8 million barrels in the latest week. Inventories of gasoline are extremely heavy, moving up in classification one notch in the week to, like oil, well above their upper limit. In contrast, distillate inventories are below their lower limit though they did rise 2.4 million barrels in the week.
Product supplies in the wholesale sector, which offer a secondary indication on final demand, point to softness with gasoline down 2.8 percent year-on-year and distillates down 6.9 percent. The price of oil is down following today's report, about 50 cents lower to the $91.50 area.