Crude oil has pulled back slightly in intraday trading following the release of the Department of Energy's [DOE] weekly inventory report. In the report, crude oil inventories for the week ending August 15th rose by 9.3 million barrels, which marks the largest weekly build since March 2001.
While crude showed a large build, gasoline inventories posted a large drop (-6.2 million barrels). Interestingly, while gasoline demand has been declining, supplies have been dwindling just as fast. This week's drop in stockpiles was the seventh largest since data begins in 1990, and it followed last week's 6.4 million barrel decline, which was the fifth largest.
In the charts below we compare this year's inventory levels with each commodity's historical average. As shown, as we near the end of the Summer, distillate inventories remain well above average, while gasoline and crude oil stockpiles remain at lower than normal levels.
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