Energy Market Recap - 1/19/2017

January 19, 2017 10:00AM CST

March Crude Oil closed up 0.27 at 52.16. This was 0.35 up from the low and 0.51 off the high.

February Heating Oil closed up 0.90 at 161.82. This was 0.53 up from the low and 1.70 off the high.

February RBOB Gasoline finished down 1.11 at 153.76, 2.02 off the high and 1.13 up from the low.

February Natural Gas finished up 0.00 at 3.30, 0.10 off the high and 0.05 up from the low.

While the March crude oil contract waffled around both sides of unchanged throughout the Thursday trade, seeing prices track within close proximity to the last month's lows would seem to leave the path of least resistance pointing downward. While some in the trade anticipated a build in weekly crude oil inventories, the 5.9 million barrel build in gasoline stocks was clearly a bearish surprise. In fact, the net change in US gasoline stocks over the last three weeks has been a 19 million barrel build. While stronger-than-expected US schedule data over the last 24 hours should have lent some demand support to energy prices, those same figures have inspired strength in the dollar and that has kept the energy market under a liquidation cloud. Crude stocks at 485.456 million barrels is the highest ever for this week. EIA crude stocks rose 2.347 million barrels and are 30.287 million barrels above year ago levels. Also, crude stocks stand 128.721 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 8.378 million barrels per day compared to 9.052 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was 90.70% down, 2.90% from last week compared to 90.60% last year and the five year average of 85.68%. Gasoline stocks at 246.424 million barrels are the highest for this week since 2016. EIA gasoline stocks rose 5.951 million barrels and are 1.427 million barrels above last year and 10.110 million above the 5-year average. Average total gasoline demand for the past 4 weeks was down 2.43% compared to last year. Gasoline imports came in at 588,000 barrels per day compared to 683,000 barrels the previous week. EIA distillate stocks fell 968,000 barrels and stand at 4.544 million barrels above last year and 29.007 million above the 5-year average. Distillate imports came in at 152,000 barrels per day compared to 103,000 barrels the previous week. Average total distillate demand for the past four weeks was up 6.65% compared to last year. Heating oil stocks at 13.179 million barrels is the lowest for this week since 2015 EIA heating oil stocks fell 133,000 barrels and are 2.346 million barrels below last year and 7.628 million below the 5-year average. The weekly natural gas storage report showed a draw of 243 bcf. Total storage stands at 2917 bcf or 2.6% below the 5-year average. Over the last four weeks, natural gas storage has declined 680 bcf.

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