After several weeks during which crude oil inventories saw record declines, changes in stockpiles over the last two weeks have returned to a more normal pace. According to the Department of Energy, crude oil inventories declined 1.3 million barrels in the last week, which was slightly less than the average forecast of a decline of 1.5 million barrels that traders were expecting. Even after this week's decline, crude oil inventories remain well above their historical average for the current time of year.
With respect to gasoline, traders were expecting stockpiles to fall by half a million barrels this week. The actual change, however, was a gain of 135K barrels. What is noteworthy about this week's build in inventories is the fact that this is a time of year when we typically see inventories decline. As a result, inventories are now further above their historical average for the current time of year than at any other point since January.