Fuels Market Watch 24
Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.
FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview
Crude oil futures prices have crept up modestly this morning, climbing above $57.50/b. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $57.09/b today, up by $0.33 (0.58%) from yesterday’s opening price of $56.76/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices opened slightly lower today. Futures prices appear to be trending up this morning, based on bullish inventory data and supply tightness.
Crude prices strengthened upon the release of oil inventory data by the American Petroleum Institute (API.) The API reported that U.S. crude oil inventories unexpectedly dropped by 2.58 million barrels (mmbbls) during the week ended March 8th. Gasoline inventories were reported to have fallen significantly by 5.8 mmbbls, while diesel inventories increased slightly by 0.195 mmbbls. The net was a significant drawdown of 8.185 mmbbls from oil inventories. Surveys of market experts had predicted an addition of 1.5 to 3.3 mmbbls to crude inventories, countered by drawdowns from gasoline and diesel inventories. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release official statistics later today.
Venezuela is now in day six of the most severe power outages in its history, though power has been restored in some parts of the country. The outages have hampered oil exports from the Jose oil terminal. President Nicolas Maduro blamed the outages on a cyberattack by the U.S. Although Maduro offered no proof, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing that China had noted the reports that the power outage had been caused by a hacking attack. He offered China’s help and technical support to restore Venezuela’s power grid. The political split in Venezuela between Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guiadó may heighten tension between China and the U.S.
Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.8222/gallon today, down by 0.29 cents (0.16%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.8251 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices increased by 0.47 cents (0.26%.) Gasoline forward prices currently are trending up, trading between $1.82-$1.84/gallon. The latest price is $1.8397/gallon.
Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.9858/gallon today, down by 0.92 cents (0.46%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.9955/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices fell by 1.66 cents (0.83%.) Diesel prices have been sloping gently down, but they now appear to be stabilizing in the range of $1.98-$1.99/gallon, perhaps approaching highs of $2/gallon again. The latest price is $1.9964/gallon.
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $57.09/b today, up by $0.33 (0.58%) from yesterday’s opening price of $56.76/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $0.18 (0.31%.) Currently, crude prices are trending up, trading in the range of $57.50-$58.80/b. The latest price is $57.70/b.