Domestic crude oil inventories dropped by 8.0 million bbl last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday, bringing stocks below the five-year average for the first time in 2021.

It also marked the first decline in three weeks and the biggest drop since January. It materialized as imports plunged in the week ended April 30, following weeks of increases, EIA said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report (WPSR).

At 485.1 million bbl, inventories are 2% below the five-year average.

U.S. crude imports averaged 5.5 million b/d day last week, down 1.2 million b/d from the previous week, EIA said. Over the past four weeks, imports averaged about 5.8 million b/d, 8% more than the comparable period in 2020.

Domestic production, meanwhile, averaged 10.9...