U.S. crude inventories expected to drop for 3rd week

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U.S. crude and gasoline inventories likely declined last week, while distillate stockpiles are expected to have increased, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.

Five analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude stocks slipped by about 2.4 million barrels in the week to Aug. 20, their third straight weekly decline.

Crude inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 13 to 435.5 million barrels, exceeding estimates for a 1.1 million barrel drop. Crude inventories were at their lowest levels since January 2020.

The poll was conducted ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, due for release at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.

Analysts estimated that stockpiles of gasoline fell by about 1.7 million barrels last week.

Distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, are expected to have increased by about 800,000 barrels.

The rate of refinery utilization USOIRU=ECI were seen unchanged at 92.2% of total capacity last week, the poll found.

Source: Reuters