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 continue to rise, motivated chiefly by geopolitical risk and tightening supply. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $64.40/b today, up by $1.07 (1.69%) from yesterday’s opening price of $63.33/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also opened higher today. Currently, the upward price trend is easing, as fears of escalating trade wars tamp down global markets. Profit-taking may be pulling prices down today.

The oil price rally to date has been remarkable. WTI crude oil prices have risen by over $4/barrel since April 1st. The OPEC+ production cuts have been amplified by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, and by armed conflict in Libya. Civil conflict and competing militias have plagued Libya since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011. The current conflict, however, has grown deadly, and it may escalate into outright civil war. Forces from the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA,) led by Khalifa Haftar, reportedly have bombed Tripoli’s airport. The LNA hopes to take Tripoli from the Government of National Accord, which is backed by the United Nations.

Currently, oil prices are easing, as concerns about global economic growth rise. The stock market rally is losing steam as the U.S. and the European Union escalate their trade dispute. President Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on European goods in retaliation for EU subsidies to Airbus. This case has been in litigation for 14 years, but the White House announced that it was time for action. The EU is expected to retaliate because of U.S. subsidies to the Boeing Company. Boeing already is embattled because of the two catastrophic crashes of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.9881/gallon today, up by 0.81 cents (0.41%) from yesterday’s opening price of $1.980 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 1.01 cents (0.51%.) Gasoline forward prices currently are stabilizing, with trades occurring mainly in the range of $1.98-$2.00/gallon. The latest price is $1.9908/gallon.

DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $2.0577/gallon today, up by 1.28 cents (0.62%) from yesterday’s opening price of $2.0449/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices rose by 0.65 cents (0.32%.) Diesel prices are currently easing, trading mainly in the $2.05-$2.06/gallon range. The latest price is $2.0508/gallon.

WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $64.40/b today, up by $1.07 (1.69%) from yesterday’s opening price of $63.33/b. Friday’s trading session was the first since November 5th that WTI forward prices closed above $63/b, and prices have continued to rise since then, breaking the $64/b barrier yesterday. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices rose by $1.09 (1.72%.) Currently, prices are trending back down, and they are trading between $64.00/b-$64.75/b. The latest price is $64.17/b.