WTI crude oil for May delivery expired at US$10.01/bbl on Wednesday, following a collapse to the negative territory a day earlier. The June contract (front-month) settled at US$ 13.78/bbl on the day. Lack of storage remains a problem in the US as demand has been sharply lowered due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is reported that the country might block import of crude oil. The report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that total crude oil and petroleum products (ex. SPR) stocks surged +25.53 mmb to 1367.1 mmb in the week ended April 17. Crude oil inventory soared +15.02 mmb (consensus: +15.15 mmb) to 518.64 mmb. Stockpile rose in 4 out of 5 PADDs. PADD 3 (Gulf Coast) saw a build of 9.88 mmb. PADD 2 (Midwest) saw a +4.84 mmb increase. Cushing stock gained +4.78 mmb to 59.74 mmb, suggesting that the delivery point for WTI crude oil is now 77% full. If inventory level continues to increase in the current pace, storage will be full by early- to mid- May. This could cause massive selloff in the June contract which will expire on May 19. Utilization rate slipped -1.5 percentage points to 67.6% while crude production slipped -0.1M bpd to 12.2M bpd for the week. Crude oil imports dropped -0.74M bpd to 4.94M bpd in the week.
Concerning refined oil product inventories, gasoline inventory gained +1.02 mmb to 263.23 mmb although demand climbed higher, by +4.53% to 5.31M bpd. The market had anticipated a +3.58 mmb increase in stockpile. Production added +1.8% to 6.003M bpd while imports declined -8.46% to 0.37M bpd during the week. Distillate inventory jumped +7.88 mmb to 136.88 mmb. The market had anticipated a +2.75 mmb increase. Demand rebounded +13.46% to 3.13M bpd. Production added +1.62% to 5.01 mmb while imports slumped -66.13% to 0.11M bpd during the week.
Released after market close on Wednesday, the industry-sponsored API estimated that crude oil inventory soared +13.2 mmb during the week. For refined oil products, gasoline stockpile gained +3.44 mmb while distillate rose +7.64 mmb.