After breaking above US$ 60/bbl, both crude oil benchmarks strengthened further despite surprising stockbuild in the US. The report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that total crude oil and petroleum products (ex. SPR) stocks slumped -13.81 mmb to 1284.77 mmb in the week ended February 19. Crude oil inventory added +1.29 mmb (consensus: -5.19 mmb) to 463.04 mmb. Stockpile increased in 2 out of 5 PADDs. PADD 2 (Midwest) alone saw +4.49 mmb surge in stockpile. Cushing stock gained +2.81 mmb to 47.82 mmb. Utilization rate declined -14.5 percentage point to 68.6% while crude production dropped -1.1M bpd to 9.7M bpd for the week. Crude oil imports dropped -1.3M bpd to 4.6M bpd in the week.


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