Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil prices today opened with gains for the seventh consecutive day, though the rally has hit a plateau this morning. Yesterday, crude oil finished above the $52/b mark for the first time since December 13th. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $52.18/b today, an increase of $2.38 (4.78%) from yesterday’s opening price of $49.80/b. Gasoline and diesel forward prices also opened with gains. This morning, however, prices have levelled off. Profit-taking behavior suggests that prices may have recovered to an equilibrium level.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released weekly supply data yesterday. It was an unexpectedly bearish set of data. The EIA reported a modest drawdown of 1.68 million barrels (mmbbls) from crude inventories, which was in line with industry expectations, but it was well below the 6.127-mmbbl drawdown reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API) earlier. The truly bearish news came from the massive additions of 8.066 mmbbls to gasoline inventories and 10.611 mmbbls added to diesel inventories. The net addition was 16.997 mmbbls of oil flowing into inventory. The API had reported additions of 5.5 mmbbls to gasoline stockpiles and 10.2 mmbbls to diesel inventories. Refined product prices weakened on the news.

The U.S. government shut down continues, with President Donald Trump abruptly walking out of talks with Congress yesterday. He intends to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border today to gain more attention for his plan to build a wall. Approximately 800,000 federal workers will not receive their paychecks tomorrow, unless Congress forges an agreement.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.4265/gallon today, a jump of 6.48 cents (4.52%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.3617 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 1.21 cents (0.86%.) Prices currently are stabilizing in the range of $1.41-$1.43/gallon. The latest price is $1.4156/gallon.

 
DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.8816/gallon today, up by 6.24 cents (3.31%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.8192/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rose by 2.31 cents (1.25%.) Diesel prices have remained stronger than gasoline prices, and they currently are stabilizing in the range of $1.87-$1.89/gallon. The latest price is $1.8810/gallon.

 
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $52.18/b today, an increase of $2.38 (4.78%) from yesterday’s opening price of $49.80/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $0.44 (0.86%.) WTI crude prices have remained steadily above the $51/b level, and they now are hovering in the neighborhood of $51.50/b, working to retain gains. The latest price is $51.53/b.