Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil prices came back strongly over the past 24 hours. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude prices in today’s trading session opened at $69.89/b, up by $2.36 from yesterday’s opening. Prices have hit highs above the $70/b mark. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also opened with strong gains in today’s session. These gains are currently holding.

The rebound in crude prices came upon news from the American Petroleum Institute (API,) which reported a huge drawdown of 8.636 million barrels of crude oil from inventories. The API also estimated a stock build of 2.122 million barrels and an even larger diesel inventory build of 5.82 million barrels. The net result was a smaller inventory draw of 0.694 mmbbls. Nonetheless, the oil complex rebounded, and prices are increasing from the higher baseline. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release official statistics later today.

Hurricane Florence continues to approach the East Coast, with expected landfall Thursday night or Friday morning. It is classified a Category 4 storm with sustained wind speeds of 130-156 MPH. Weather forecasters note that, based on wind speed, it could intensify to Category 5, or be downgraded to Category 3, but regardless of the numerical categorization, there will be danger of heavy rains of up to 30” in some places and a storm surge of 15 to 20 feet in some shallow coastal waters. Some of these coastal areas in the Carolinas have rarely been hit by such a strong storm. The National Weather Service issued warnings of “catastrophic flash flooding.” An estimated one million people are under mandatory evacuation orders.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $2.0197 today, a jump of 6.02 cents from yesterday’s opening. Over the last 24-hour trading period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices rose by 4.4 cents/gallon (2.23%.) Currently, gasoline prices are stable, holding to their gains. The latest price is $2.0209/gallon.

DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $2.261/gallon today, up strongly by 4.2 cents from yesterday’s opening. Over the last 24-hour period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices increased by 3.5 cents/gallon (1.58%.) Diesel prices now are stable, holding to their gains. The latest price is $2.2574/gallon.

WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude prices opened on the NYMEX at $69.89/b today, up strongly by $2.36 from yesterday’s opening price. Over the last 24-hour period from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, crude prices have risen by $2.43/b (3.59%.) Currently, crude prices are still rising. The latest price is $70.21/b.