Earlier this morning, the Department of Energy released energy inventories for the latest week. In the crude oil space, traders were expecting stockpiles to rise by 2 million barrels, but the actual increase came in at just 230,000 barrels. Even though the build was lower than expected, crude oil inventories are still at all-time record highs.
While crude oil inventories actually increased this week, stockpiles of gasoline declined. While traders were looking for a decline of 400,000 barrels, the actual decline was more than twice that at 910,000 barrels. As a result of that decline, gasoline stockpiles are increasingly falling to levels that are in line with the historical average. Overall, this week's moves in energy inventories reinforced the notion that the U.S. is awash in crude, while gasoline stockpiles are running in line with their historical average.