Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil prices are easing this morning, though they opened significantly higher today. Friday brought a surge that allowed crude prices to crack through the $55/b mark. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $55.32/b today, up by $1.31 (2.43%) from Friday’s opening price of $54.01/b. WTI prices have not been above $55/b since November. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also opened with significant gains today. However, prices for all three are now declining, surrendering most of the gains made on Friday.

The oil complex end last week strongly in the black. WTI crude prices opened on Monday at $53.56/b and closed on Friday at $55.26/b, a jump of $3.14 (6.0%) for the week. Gasoline forward prices opened on Monday at $1.3857/gallon and closed Friday at $1.4368, a major increase of 10.0 cents (7.5%) for the week. Diesel prices opened at $1.8874/gallon on Monday and closed at $1.9127/gallon on Friday, up by 7.25 cents (3.9%) for the week.

Oil prices had a strong week, buoyed by expectations of supply-side cuts from the OPEC-NOPEC coalition, plus expected reductions in Venezuelan exports as U.S. sanctions begin to take effect. Adding to this, Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the U.S. active oil rig count fell by 15 last week, dropping from 862 to 847. This was the lowest the rig count has been since last May. The natural gas rig count rose by 1, rising from 197 to 198. Over the past month, the rig count has fallen by 30. Prices have strengthened in response, since the numbers suggest that U.S. production is finally feeling the impacts of lower prices. As the OPEC-NOPEC production cuts begin to pare away at oversupply, the temptation is for U.S. producers to expand. But the economics may restrain this.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.4351/gallon today, up significantly by 4.91 cents (3.41%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.386 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 4.68 cents (3.33%.) Prices currently are declining, but they are maintaining some of the gains made last week. The latest price is $1.4357/gallon.

 
DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.9175/gallon today, up by 3.3 cents (1.72%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.8845/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rose by 3.18 cents (1.69%.) Diesel prices currently are declining after Friday’s rally. The latest price is $1.9033/gallon.

 
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $55.32/b today, up by $1.31 (2.43%) from Friday’s opening price of $54.01/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $0.56 (1.04%.) Prices are falling this morning after Friday’s surge, dropping back below the $55/b level again, but maintaining above the $54/b mark. The latest price is $54.23/b.