OREANDA-NEWS. US crude stocks increased last week by 4mn bl to 457.9mn bl, amid a rise in imports and a drop in refinery runs, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Stocks had decreased in the previous two weeks.

Imports last week rose by 378,000 b/d or 5.3pc to 7.6mn b/d. Over the last four weeks, crude imports averaged more than 7.3mn b/d, or 1.7pc below the same period last year, the EIA said.

Total US utilization last week was down by 1.1 percentage points to 89.8pc. US refiners processed about 16mn b/d, down by 241,000 b/d from the previous week.

Total US production fell by 40,000 b/d to about 9.1mn b/d. Production in the Lower 48 states fell by 21,000 b/d while output in Alaska dropped by 19,000 b/d.

The region with the largest build in stocks was the Gulf coast with an increase of 5.1mn bl. Inventories in the east and the west also moved higher. But stocks in the midcontinent moved sharply in the other direction, falling by 3.8mn bl.

Stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by about 1.1mn bl in a fifth consecutive week of declines.

In refined products, gasoline inventories were up by 3.3mn bl to 222mn bl. Total distillate fuel stocks fell by 267,000 b/d last week to stand at 151.6mn bl.