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U.S. crude stockpiles slump, refining hits 18-month high

U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped sharply last week as refineries boosted operations to their highest since January 2020, signaling a continued improvement in demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Analysts said the 7.4 million-barrel drawdown in crude stocks in the week to June 11 to 466.7 million barrels, the fourth consecutive weekly decline, augurs for improved demand in coming weeks.

Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 845,000 barrels per day, EIA said, driven by rising exports of nearly 1 MMbpd.

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