US crude oil imports have been rising. Reuters is reporting:
Futures prices are making it increasingly profitable to store surplus crude in the United States, coinciding with a strong period of oil imports and a further build up of already swollen stockpiles.
WTI crude futures prices imply the market is paying more than 61 cents per month to cover the cost of financing and storing oil at the Cushing delivery hub during the fourth quarter of 2015.
The WTI contango for the fourth quarter of 2015 has tripled from less than 20 cents per month at the start of June.
It has become more profitable to store oil in the United States in a “cash and carry” strategy tied to WTI than in other parts of the world benchmarked to Brent.
Unsurprisingly, the increased contango in WTI has coincided with an increase in tanker arrivals and crude oil imports.
Crude imports have risen from a recent low of 6.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on May 22 to 7.5 million bpd in four weeks ending July 17.
In the week ending July 17, imports hit 7.94 million bpd, the second highest rate for the year.
Crude imports have been rising strongly even though crude stockpiles are close to their highest levels for 80 years.
The fast pace of imports has been enough to keep stocks from falling even though U.S. refineries are processing crude at record rates of more than 16.8 million bpd.
India Diesel Consumption Surging
Tweeted earlier this morning:
India's oil product exports plunged nearly 30% to 6-year lows in June as refiners diverted diesel to meet surging local demand.