Crude oil inventories resumed their upward climb in the March 17 week, rising 5.0 million barrels to 533.1 million, up 6.3 percent from last year at this time. But product inventories declined again, with gasoline down 2.8 million barrels to 243.5 million, 0.7 percent below the level a year ago, and distillates down 1.9 million barrels to 155.4 million, 2.6 percent down year-on-year. Despite the declines in product inventories, stocks of gasoline and distillates are at the upper half of the average range for this time of year, while stocks of crude oil are at the upper limit.
Crude oil imports increased sharply, averaging 8.3 million barrels per day, up by 902,000 thousand barrels per day from the prior week. Over the last four weeks, imports averaged about 7.9 million barrels per day, 3 percent less than in the same period last year.
Refineries operated at 87.4 percent of the operable capacity, up 2.3 percentage points from the previous week. Production increased as well, with gasoline averaging 9.8 million and distillates 4.3 million barrels per day.
On the demand side, total products supplied over the last 4 weeks averaged 19.5 million barrels per day, up 0.5 percent from the same period last year. Of this amount, supplied gasoline averaged 9.1 million barrels per day, down 2.9 percent from last year, while distillate fuel supplied averaged 4.1 million barrels, up an outsized 14.1 percent year-on-year.