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Oil Prices Fall As EIA Confirms Inventory Build

Oil Prices Fall As EIA Confirms Inventory Build

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After a surprise 5.32-million-barrel inventory build reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API) weighed on oil prices yesterday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reportinga build of 1.6 million barrels for the week ending March 23.

The markets, which have not had a chance to react to the EIA report as of the time of writing, could ease their downward trend given the nearly 4-million difference in build in the official figures.

However, they could also take this as confirmation of a reversal of expectations. Heading into Tuesday’s API data, expectations were for a draw of around 430 million barrels.

The authority said refineries processed 16.8 million bpd of crude in the reporting period, unchanged from a week earlier. Gasoline production averaged 10.3 million bpd, compared with 9.9 million bpd a week earlier, and distillate output averaged 4.8 million bpd last week, versus 4.5 million bpd a week earlier.

Gasoline inventories, the EIA said, fell by 3.5 million barrels in the week to March 23. In the week before that, gasoline inventories marked a decline of 1.7 million barrels. Distillate inventories last week shed 2.1 million barrels, compared with a decline of 2 million barrels in the prior week.

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