PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending October 12, 2014

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PIRA's Restructured U.S. Gasoline Balances Provide Greater Clarity and Insight

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PIRA’s restructured gasoline balances are in response to the steep decline in volume and the relevance of finished gasoline stocks and imports.

NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that PIRA's restructured U.S. gasoline balances provide greater clarity and insight. In the U.S., large crude stock build, small product stock draw, and widening commercial stock excess. In Japan, crude stocks build despite higher runs. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

PIRA's Restructured U.S. Gasoline Balances Provide Greater Clarity and Insight

PIRA’s restructured gasoline balances are in response to the steep decline in volume and the relevance of finished gasoline stocks and imports. The changes to the EIA’s finished balance came about as a result of the decline in MTBE and the rise in ethanol, as the oxygenate of choice. We have compiled a total gasoline balance, but one that also separates the major sources of gasoline supply, namely refinery output, ethanol input, and total gasoline imports. In contrast, the EIA’s refinery and blender production of gasoline is a combination of refinery production, imported blending components, and ethanol.

Large U.S. Crude Stock Build, Small Product Stock Draw, Widening Commercial Stock Excess

U.S. crude stocks built, but less than the build for the same week last year, so the crude stock deficit increased. The four major refined products built as opposed to a draw last year, so the deficit for this group narrowed. In combination, crude and the four major refined products are in deficit -17.8 million barrels. All other product inventories drew less than last year’s draw, widening out the year-on-year excess.

Japanese Crude Stocks Build Despite Higher Runs

Crude runs rose and imports were sufficiently high to build crude stocks. Finished product stocks also rose slightly. Gasoline demand was fractionally lower and stocks built slightly. Gasoil demand was strong and stocks drew. Kerosene demand was surprisingly strong and yield declined, such that stocks built only fractionally and less than would have been expected. Refining margins remain soft with all the major product cracks weakening modestly.

World LPG Prices Plummet

Prices of LPG fell by 10% or more in most key markets last week amid broader energy and financial market weakness. U.S. LPG stocks continue to build to ever higher record levels. Strong price competition by naphtha in Asia has led to subdued petrochemical purchasing, while an unplanned cracker upset in the Netherlands has left the NWE butane market looking long. Perhaps the only bright spot is increased propane demand in Europe in a tighter prompt market, as U.S. arrivals of the product have remained low.

Ethanol Prices and Margins Decline

The descent in U.S. ethanol prices continued though Thursday, October 2, driven by building inventories and falling consumption. Cash margins for ethanol manufacture declined for the seventh consecutive week to the poorest level since the beginning of February.

Ethanol Output Increases.

U.S. ethanol production rebounded to 901 MB/D the week ending October 3 from a six-month low 881 MB/D during the preceding week as some plants completed their maintenance turnarounds. Stocks were down 177 thousand barrels to 18.7 million barrels.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap - which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

Click here for additional information on PIRA’s global energy commodity market research services.

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