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Oil market recap: Week ending 15th November

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Improving trucking trends confirm better highway fuel demand growth. US product stocks declined again this week, while Japanese crude stocks increased.


  • The Federal Highway Administration released vehicle miles travelled (VMT) data for August, while the American Trucking Association released its Truck Tonnage Index for September.
  • Both showed improvements compared to last year, confirming the overall improvement in both gasoline and diesel demand growth.
  • PIRA’s forecast to the end of the year for gasoline and diesel suggests that both indicators should continue to improve.


  • Commercial oil inventories fell almost 6 million bbls for the week ending 8th November, with a product inventory decline more than offsetting a crude stock increase.
  • Product inventories have declines for nine consecutive weeks, dropping over 42 million bbls.
  • Levels are expected to moderate over the next few weeks.
  • Crude runs are on the increase, which should result into crude stock declines, especially on the Gulf Coast.
  • The stock excess to last year narrowed over the last week.


  • Crude runs continued rising in Japan and crude imports stayed high to produce another large stock build.
  • Gasoline and gasoil demands eased, but their yields were considerable lower, resulting in only a modest change in stocks.
  • Kerosene demand eased slightly but yield increased so that stocks continued to build.
  • Refinery margins increased slightly as light and heavy cracks showed slight improvements.


  • US propane markets remain tight thanks to crop drying, exports, petchem feed use and needing to meet winter demand pull stock levels down.
  • Propane reached its highest value so far this year.
  • Supply limitations are helping to push international prices up as the winter weather moves in.
  • LPG has been priced out of the chemical feedstock pool.


  • Ethanol prices declined early in the week ending 8th November before increasing later in the week thanks to strong domestic and export demand, as well as higher corn prices.
  • Cash margins for ethanol production fell to the lowest level in 11 weeks.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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