Today's weekly inventory report from the Department of Energy (DoE) was a negative for prices as both crude oil and gasoline saw larger-than-expected increases in stockpiles. In terms of crude oil, traders were expecting stockpiles to decline by 1.5 million barrels, but the actual change was a build of 2.52 million barrels. This week's increase helped to recoup a little more than a third of last week's decline, keeping stockpiles well above their historical averages. If seasonal patterns are a guide, however, we can expect crude oil stockpiles to start declining through the rest of the summer.
Gasoline inventories also saw a larger-than-expected increase. For this week's report, traders were expecting a build of just half a million barrels. Here too, though, inventories rose by more than 2.5 million barrels. Based on the seasonal trends, we should expect to see inventories continue to build through the beginning of July.