October RBOB gasoline went off in spectacular fashion as those that underestimated the impact from Hurricane Ivan and other refiner problems in Venezuela and Europe paid the price to get out. Of course in the larger picture the question will be how quickly things get back to normal. While no one expects another squeeze play the truth is that things will remain tight on the product side. That total commercial petroleum inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week butting them well below average, gasoline inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels last week and are in the lower half of the average range. Finished gasoline inventories decreased while blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.5 million barrels last week and are near the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels last week and are above the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 2.7 million barrels last week.
We also saw a huge drop in U.S. crude oil imports which averaged 7.6 million barrels per day last week, down by 2.3 million barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 8.5 million barrels per day, 272 thousand barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 491 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 108 thousand barrels per day last week.
With numbers like that we have to beware of more upward spikes especially if we have any more refining issues around the globe. Economic worries around the globe. Spanish manufacturing activity fell in September. Their s monthly purchasing managers' index edged up to 44.5 in September from 44.0 in August. In China the official purchasing managers’ index rose to 49.8, up 0.6 from August. Still below the magic 50%,
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