Fuels Market Watch 24
Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.
FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview
Crude oil futures prices are creeping back up today. Prices sank dramatically yesterday, reacting to a tweet from President Trump warning that oil prices were “getting too high” and urging OPEC to “relax.” WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $55.46/b today, down by $1.71 (2.99%) from yesterday’s opening price of $57.17/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices opened significantly lower today. Investors immediately sold oil futures, and prices plummeted. Currently, prices are trending back up, but from a lower baseline.
Crude oil and refined prices ended last week in the black once again: WTI crude was up by $1.48 (2.7%) for the week; gasoline was up by 3.84 cents (2.4%;) and diesel was up by 0.97 cents (0.5%.) President Trump’s tweet about oil prices being “too high” caused a selloff that erased the gains—all without any concrete action.
Prices today are stabilizing and creeping back up. The supply-side risks remain. Internationally, geopolitical risks continue in Libya, Iran, and Venezuela. In Libya, the Sharara field remains under force majeure (since December,) and there are reports that militia forces under control of an eastern general, Khalifa Haftar, have killed at least 19 civilians in the area. In Iran, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif unexpectedly resigned yesterday. He was instrumental in forging the 2015 nuclear deal, and his departure is being viewed as a sign of a potentially more hard-line stance in Iran. In Venezuela, the crisis of two presidents continues, escalating to deadly clashes during attempts to deliver humanitarian aid. Against this backdrop, the Saudi-led OPEC-NOPEC coalition is cutting production to drain excess inventories.
Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.5496/gallon today, down by 4.75 cents (2.94%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.5971 cents/gallon. Prices last week were the highest since mid-November, but prices subsided to their pre-rally levels. Gasoline futures markets followed crude prices down. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices dropped by 6.31 cents (3.93%.) Gasoline forward prices currently are recovering, trading between $1.55-$1.58/gallon. The latest price is $1.575/gallon.
Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.9768/gallon today, down significantly by 5.14 cents (0.2%) from yesterday’s opening price of $2.0322/gallon. Until last week, diesel forward prices had not been steadily above the $2/gallon level since mid-November. Diesel futures markets followed crude prices down. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices dropped by 5.33 cents (2.63%.) Diesel prices currently are recovering to the range of $1.97-$2.00/gallon. The latest price is $1.9969/gallon.
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $55.46/b today, down by $1.71 (2.99%) from yesterday’s opening price of $57.17/b. Prices had been hitting highs of over $57.50/b before plunging nearly as low as $55/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices dropped by $1.93 (3.38%.) Currently, crude prices are working to stabilize, trading in the range of $55.25/b-$56.00/b. The latest price is $55.79/b.