Crude oil prices have risen gently this week, while refined products saw mixed results. Crude markets have increased by 57 cents (+1.1%) between Monday’s opening price and Friday’s, with Friday prices starting the day at $54.73.
Diesel lost 1.49 cents (-.79%) this week, opening Friday at $1.8598. Diesel prices gradually fell throughout the week, closing each day slightly lower than its opening price. After a disappointing EIA report that showed a lower-than-expected inventory draw, diesel could not maintain its strong prices seen at the beginning of the week. However, prices remained higher overall this week than last.
Gasoline is by far the biggest winner for the week, picking up 6.2 cents (+.35%) to open Friday at $1.7812. Gasoline demand was higher than expected this week, which combined with a steep stock draw helped to boost prices significantly. Gasoline tracked higher throughout the week, keeping prices each day higher than the previous week.
The main news events of the week were the large stock draws for gasoline announced by the API and confirmed by the EIA. However, the API report was drastically more supportive of prices than the EIA data, forecasting much deeper draws for last week. Exports remain high, buoyed by strong spreads between U.S. WTI crude prices and international Brent prices. The market continues to keep their eyes on OPEC as the idea of extending cuts through 2018 is gaining support.
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