Large gasoline stocks drop leads bullish API report : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - A surprisingly large drop in national gasoline stocks led a bullish American Petroleum Institute weekly report on Tuesday, lifting already firm oil prices further in late trading.

The report showed that gasoline stocks dropped nearly five million barrels last week to just below 190 million barrels, the lowest they've been in more than two years.

Gasoline futures shot up in out-of-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange's ACCESS system, with the December contract up by 1.23 cents at 72.15 cents a gallon, having earlier gained 0.72 in the regular session.

``I'd say these look to be pretty stout numbers. Prices may seem high but people are looking for big winter draws,'' said Chris Schachte, an analyst at GSC Energy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gasoline stocks have been mostly heading down after reaching glut levels back in March when they were at about 233 million barrels. Prices correspendingly have nearly doubled.

Other inventory data helped keep a firm underpinning, with crude stocks dropping by about 2.5 million barrels, most of which came from the ``refinery row'' area along the Gulf coast, which had been mainly responsible for the growth in national crude stocks in the previous four weeks as refineries shut down for maintenance.

Also encouraging for the market is a strong draw over past weeks in distillate stocks, which includes heating oil in the northeast of the U.S. They have fallen by nearly 12 million barrels since late September, a sharp fall for the time of year, even given a heavy turnaround season for refineries.

At the time of last year's glut there were 148 million barrels in distillate stocks in mid-November, versus 134 million barrels last week. Last year, stocks kept rising to peak in early January at 157 million barrels. >>


Hey guys, we better stagger the stockpiling or we are going to push the price up.

< vbg >

-- John (, November 16, 1999


Anyone got a match, its dark down here.

-- squid (, November 16, 1999.

Gas prices in our town have gone up 20 cents in the past two weeks. My question for anyone in the know (like Gordon) is this: how can pump prices shoot up so fast, when obviously the gas at the pump was already refined and even in the delivery tanker before the commodity price jump? I mean, I filled up at 1.25 this morning and tonight it was 1.36!


-- JER (I_get_it@this.time), November 16, 1999.

JER, I'm sure Gordon knows more details about that, but it seems like just simple supply and demand. If the owner of the gas station hears that the supply of crude is getting low and the price is going up, he needs to raise his prices in anticipation. He is just planning ahead because he knows he will have to pay higher prices in the future, so he wants to start recovering his costs immediately.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), November 16, 1999.

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