U.S. crude stockpiles ended a summer-long streak of descensions even as domestic demand increased and production was flat, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday. The agency noted that exports of American crude dropped during the week, while imports climbed.

U.S. commercial crude inventories — excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — increased by 2.1 million bbl in the July 16 week from the previous week. At 439.7 million bbl, however, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 7% below the five-year average, a reflection of robust export activity for much of the summer and mounting domestic demand.

Imports of crude averaged 7.1 million b/d last week, up 900,000 b/d from the previous week, while exports fell by 1.6 million b/d week/week.