Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.


Over the past 24 hours, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude prices pulled out of their slump and gradually crept back up. Yesterday’s market opened with WTI prices below $65/b. WTI prices in today’s trading session opened at $65.47/b, a gain of $0.52/b above yesterday’s opening. Diesel and gasoline prices followed crude oil’s path, dropping sharply Wednesday then stabilizing yesterday.

Oil prices were under pressure this week for several reasons: turmoil in global financial markets, led by the crash of the Turkish Lira; a hefty build of crude oil and refined product inventories in the U.S. (totaling over 9.6 million barrels;) downward revisions of global demand forecasts; and continued worries over the impacts of the U.S-China trade war. A slight thaw in U.S.-China relations is one of the reasons that today’s prices have strengthened.  A U.S.-China meeting now is scheduled for August 21st and 22nd. The next round of tariffs is scheduled to be launched on August 23rd. Although the meeting may not result in any serious reconciliation, the market appears eager to grasp at any sign of hope. Weekly prices look set to finish in the red again.

Gasoline markets are outperforming crude and diesel markets, possibly a knock-on effect from Asian markets. In India, Reliance Industries declared force majeure on exports from its giant Jamnagar refinery, where it was forced to close one of the catalytic cracking units, a major source of gasoline blending material. The unit may be out for two weeks, and gasoline prices in Asia rose immediately upon the news. Supplies already were tight, with a refinery closed in Vietnam, plus high demand in Indonesia.


WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude prices opened on the NYMEX at $65.47/b today. Over the last 24-hour period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, crude prices recouped $0.26/b (0.4%.) Prices currently are continuing to recover, and they have crept back above the $66/b mark. The latest price is $66.21/b.


Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $2.0964/gallon today. Over the last 24-hour period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices continued to decline slowly, falling by 0.36 cents/gallon (0.17%.) Prices currently are recovering. The latest price is $2.1171/gallon.


Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.9872 today. This was one of the lowest opening prices over the past four months. In the daily trading sessions since April 10th, there have been only three days when gasoline prices have opened below $2/gallon. Over the last 24-hour period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices pulled out of the decline and rose by 1.67 cents/gallon (0.84%.) Prices currently are continuing to climb. The latest price is $2.0053/gallon.