Today's weekly energy inventory report from the Department of Energy showed that crude oil stockpiles were higher than forecast, while gasoline inventories were a little lower than expected. While traders were expecting crude oil inventories to fall by half a million barrels, the actual change was an increase of 313,000 barrels. With that increase, stockpiles have only been higher in five other weeks since 1984.
Traders were also expecting gasoline stockpiles to rise by 750,000 barrels, but here the actual increase was modestly lower at 183,000 barrels. As shown in the chart below, while gasoline stockpiles are above average for this time of year, the pattern of inventories this year has closely tracked the typical seasonal pattern going back to 1990.