By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com - U.S. crude stockpiles tumbled last week after a build in the week prior, the government agency for energy data said in a report that showed the Biden administration pulled oil again from the nation's reserves in a bid to ease tight market supply that could lead to inordinately high fuel prices.
Demand for finished fuel products was, however, lower last week, with an unexpected build in gasoline stockpiles and a smaller-than-expected draw in distillate inventories, the Weekly Petroleum Status Report from the Energy Information Information, or EIA, showed.
Crude balances in storage fell by 4.581 million barrels during the week ended April 14, the EIA said. In the previous week to April 7, crude stockpiles rose by 0.597M barrels.
Analysts tracked by Investing.com had expected the EIA to report a crude balance decline of just 1.088M barrels.
The crude draw was registered despite the U.S. government's release of 1.58M barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, last week. It was the third SPR draw for the year after the pull of 1.6M barrels during the prior week to April 7 and 3.7M in the week to March 31.
The Biden administration has leaned heavily on the SPR since late 2021 to offset tight crude supplies that had raised fuel costs for Americans. As of last week, the SPR's crude balance was at its lowest since November 1983.
On the gasoline inventory front, the EIA cited a draw of 1.300M barrels versus the forecast drop of 1.267M barrels, and against the previous weekly decline of 0.331M. Automotive fuel gasoline is the No. 1 U.S. fuel product.
With distillate stockpiles , the EIA reported a 0.356M barrel draw, against expectations for a drop of 0.927M barrels and versus the prior week's consumption of 0.606M. Distillates are refined into heating oil , diesel for trucks, buses, trains and ships, and fuel for jets.
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