Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil futures prices rose this morning, climbing above $57.50/b. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $58.35/b today, up strongly by $1.26 (2.21%) from yesterday’s opening price of $57.09/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices opened with gains today. Futures prices appear to be trending up this morning, based on bullish inventory data and supply tightness.

Oil prices rose when the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released weekly supply data yesterday. The EIA reported a stock draw of 3.862 million barrels (mmbbls) from crude inventories. This exceeded the drawdown of 2.58 mmbbls that had been reported earlier by the American Petroleum Institute (API.) The EIA also reported a large drawdown of 4.624 mmbbls from gasoline inventories. Diesel inventories gained 0.383 mmbbls. The net was a sizeable drop of 8.103 mmbbls from inventories. This net figure from the EIA closely corroborated the 8.185-mmbbls total draw that the API had reported. The API numbers showed drawdowns of 2.58 mmbbls of crude and 5.8 mmbbls of gasoline, and only a small addition of 0.195 mmbbls to diesel inventories.

Global markets are mixed today. Markets reacted favorably to the idea that Britain may delay Brexit, possibly seeking a “long extension” for the deadline to leave the EU. Negotiations have not produced a deal, yet the parliament rejected a “no-deal” Brexit, so a better solution must be found. The U.S.-China trade war continues, and the date for any possible deal has been pushed back to April. The U.S. FAA joined other countries in grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft after potential similarities were seen between Sunday’s deadly crash in Ethiopia and the tragic crash in October off the coast of Indonesia. The number of applications for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, indicating a slowdown in the U.S. labor market. The Labor Department reported yesterday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 6000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 for the week ended March 9th.

GASOLINE

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 rose strongly by 4.73 cents (2.58%.) Gasoline forward prices currently are trending up, trading between $1.86-$1.88/gallon. The latest price is $1.8694/gallon.

DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.9968/gallon today, up by 1.1 cents (0.55%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.9858/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rebounded by 1.3 cents (0.65%.) Diesel prices had been sloping down, but they now appear to be strengthening and approaching the $2/gallon level again. The latest price is $1.9984/gallon.

WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $58.35/b today, up strongly by $1.26 (2.21%) from yesterday’s opening price of $57.09/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $0.95 (1.65%.) Currently, crude prices are trending up, trading in the range of $58.00-$58.75/b. The latest price is $58.62/b.