Fuels Market Watch 24
Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.
Readers, kindly note that we are changing our weekly review to show how the current week has developed. The charts now present hourly price trends from the previous Friday at 9AM EST to the current Friday at 6AM EST, consistent with our daily price trends column.
FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview
Crude oil futures prices opened today at their highest level since early November. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $63.33/b today, up by $1.15 (1.85%) from Friday’s opening price of $62.18/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also opened significantly higher today. Prices began to strengthen Friday based on a strong Jobs Report and tightening sanctions on Venezuela, and prices began ramping up in earnest as news of deadly fighting recommenced in Libya. Prices this morning were mainly hovering, but currently, there are signs that the upward price movement may resume.
Crude oil, gasoline and diesel futures prices all ended last week solidly in the black. WTI crude futures opened on Monday at $60.24/b and closed on Friday at $63.08, up by $2.84/b (4.7%) for the week. Diesel futures prices opened Monday at $1.97/gallon and closed on Friday at $2.042, up by 7.24 cents/gallon (3.7%) for the week. Gasoline futures prices opened on Monday at $1.8827/gallon and closed on Friday at $1.9687/gallon, a jump of 8.6 cents/gallon (4.6%) for the week. WTI crude prices remained steadily above the $60/b level all week, which has not happened since the first week of November.
This morning, prices were holding steady, but they appear to be moving up again. WTI crude is pressing toward the $64/b level. Stock markets are mixed, with the U.S.-China trade talks once again declaiming progress, but details still to come. If markets focus on potential economic slowdown, this can ameliorate the cuts in global oil supply. The U.S. has indicated that it will reduce the number of waivers on purchases of Iranian crude. Sanctions continue to tighten on Venezuela. Libya is a wild card. Renewed fighting has caused several countries to evacuate personnel from the country. The UN-backed government in Tripoli reported that 21 people have been killed and 27 wounded in fighting near the capital. Yet the U.N. noted that it hopes for a peaceful resolution. Civil conflict has plagued the country since the death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. An agreement between western and eastern forces could pave the way for a more stable and prosperous country.
Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.98/gallon today, up strongly by 4.62 cents (2.34%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.9338 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 4.17 cents (2.16%.) Gasoline forward prices currently have slowed the upward movement and they are stabilizing between $1.97-$1.99/gallon. The latest price is $1.9739/gallon.
Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $2.0449/gallon today, up strongly by 3.19 cents (1.56%) from Friday’s opening price of $2.013/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rose by 3.57 cents (1.78%.) Diesel prices are continuing to trend up, trading in the $2.04-$2.06/gallon range. The latest price is $2.0527/gallon.
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE
WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened $63.33/b today, up by $1.15 (1.85%) from Friday’s opening price of $62.18/b. Friday’s trading session was the first since November 5th that WTI forward prices closed above $63/b, and prices have remained strong since then. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $0.96 (1.54%.) This morning, prices were stable, but they are rising once again as of the time of this writing. Crude prices are trading between $63.25/b-$63.98/b, and they are coming close to $64/b. The latest price is $63.83/b.