Today's release of energy inventories from the Department of Energy showed larger-than-expected declines in stockpiles of both crude oil and gasoline. Traders were expecting inventories of crude oil to decline by 650,000 barrels, while the actual decline was nearly 10 times that at 6.267 million barrels. This represents the largest decline in inventories so far this year, and it makes up for the delayed drawdown in stockpiles that we typically see in early May. Even after this large drawdown, however, crude oil inventories remain close to record highs.
As mentioned above, gasoline inventories also declined this week, but not by nearly as much as crude oil. While traders were expecting stockpiles to rise by 1.2 million barrels, inventories actually fell by 366,000 barrels. Unlike crude oil, though, inventories of gasoline are nowhere near record highs.