http://bit.ly/10VtMK8A month ago we highlighted the somewhat stunning reality of the real economy via the EIA’s detailed energy supply and demand data. The key takeaway was that we hoped this did not represent the true state of the economy since the data was so dismal. Fast forward to today and the DOE just released a much higher than expected build in crude inventories that took the stuffed-channel of oil products to all-time highs. The 395.3 million barrels is higher than the previous record in July 1990. There appears to be a number of factors at play – none of which are positive. There is a surge in supply due to the incessant harvesting of shale oil (which could have its own problems as we noted here ). Second, we suspect there is a degree of ‘channel-stuffing’ occurring – if we pump it, they will buy – as producers and transporters are desperate to keep active and show incremental business (despite fading railcar loadings). But perhaps most important, as EIA data has shown , there has been a collapse in end demand for crude products not seen since the 1990s. Today’s surge in inventories appears to confirm demand remains subdued at best. Chart: Bloomberg Zero Hedge
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