Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil prices are heading down this morning. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $53.36/b today, up by $0.39 (0.73%) from Friday’s opening price of $53.17/b. Gasoline futures prices opened slightly lower today. Diesel futures prices were up by a fraction of a cent. All three prices are trending down currently, and WTI has dipped below $52/b. Additional data from China showed a drop in industrial profits in December. Poor corporate earnings in the U.S. are expected to bring a decline on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones opened down by over 140 points this morning.

Last week, oil prices ended in the red. This followed a three-week upward run in prices that brought price levels roughly back to where they were before the price collapse in December. WTI crude prices opened on Tuesday (Monday was Martin Luther King Day) at $53.95/b and ended on Friday at $53.69/b, down slightly by $0.26 (0.5%) for the week. Gasoline prices opened on Tuesday at $1.4435/gallon and closed Friday at $1.38948/gallon, a drop of 5.41 cents (3.7%) for the week. Diesel prices opened on Tuesday at $1.9115/gallon and closed Friday at $1.8919, down by 1.96 cents (1.0%) for the week.

Last week brought a major addition to U.S. crude, gasoline and diesel inventories, totaling over 11.4 million barrels (mmbbls.) It also brought an increase in the active rig count, according to Baker Hughes. The active oil rig count bounced back by 10 during the week ended January 25th, to a total of 862, while the active natural gas rig count declined by 1, to a total of 197. The active rig count had fallen for the past three weeks. This month’s price rally has been moderate. Mainly, it restored prices to pre-collapse levels. Still, it brought oil rigs back into play, supporting the near-universal idea that U.S. oil production will rise in 2019.

A temporary funding bill ended the Federal government shutdown. Agencies have re-opened, and roughly 800,000 federal workers are back at their jobs. The measure expires on February 15th, when President Trump said Congress must allocate money for his border wall, or he would launch another shutdown or declare a national emergency.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.3857/gallon today, down slightly by 0.34 cents (0.24%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.3891 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 0.56 cents (0.41%.) Prices currently are falling, giving up the range of $1.38-$1.40/gallon they had achieved last week. The latest price is $1.3525/gallon.

 
DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.8874/gallon today, down fractionally by 0.004 cents (0.02%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.887/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rose by 1.34 cents (0.72%.) Diesel prices currently are falling, giving up the range of $1.87-$1.90/gallon they had held for most of last week. The latest price is $1.8459/gallon.

 
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $53.36/b today, up by $0.39 (0.73%) from Friday’s opening price of $53.17/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices fell by $0.56 (1.05%.) Prices are trending down currently. Prices first fell below the $53/b level they had achieved last week, and currently prices are dipping even below $52/b. The latest price is $51.99/b.