US crude oil stockpiles have unexpectedly risen to an all time high after refiners boosted imports, especially from Saudi Arabia, whilst oil exports slumped to their lowest levels since November 2019, according to Reuters.

Crude inventories rose 5.7 million barrels (mmbbl) from June 1 to June 5 to a record 538.1 mmbbl, without including the US strategic reserves. This rise can be explained by the arrival of shipments booked during March and April during the Saudi-Russia price war. Refiners’ imports of Saudi oil have continuously exceeded 1.5 mmbbl/d for the past three weeks, something that has not happened since 2013.

On the other hand, US exports fell to a 9 month low of 2.4 mmbbl/d resulting in an overall increase in net crude imports of 1 mmbbl/d, according to the Energy Information Administration .

Refinery utilization rates are now recorded at 73.1% of capacity, with a 1.3% increase.