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Crude Oil: EIA Report Sends A Bearish Signal

My primary focus in understanding EIA storage data continues to be on total petroleum inventories, as crude oil data do not tell the entire story and need to be interpreted in conjunction with the refinery utilization data (impacted during the reported week by turnarounds and the strike). Aggregate commercial petroleum stocks data provides a more complete view of the petroleum supply/demand balance as it effectively eliminates the noise associated with refinery utilization variability.

The graph below shows the trajectory of the U.S. total petroleum inventorysurplus relative to the five-year average. On a season-adjusted basis, during the past two months the aggregate petroleum inventory grew by ~0.9 million barrels per day faster than during the preceding five months. Today's report indicates that the pace of growth is not subsiding, negating what seemed to be a slowdown in the past two weeks. Read more