After two straight weeks of gains, markets lost steam this week, trending lower thanks to a rising dollar and rising oil inventories. Small losses in WTI prices this week have masked the larger decline in the oil complex. While American WTI prices have fallen a bit over $2/bbl, international Brent prices have fallen by more than $3/bbl as inventories have fallen and markets fear rising interest rates.
WTI prices saw smaller losses than other crude blends thanks to inventory draws at Cushing, OK, which we covered in FUELSnews yesterday. Still, the trend has been lower this week, after two weeks of sizable gains.
Crude prices began the week at $63.60, having risen $4.43 in the two previous weeks. After rising on Monday, markets showed steady losses throughout the week, with the biggest losses occurring on Wednesday following the EIA’s inventory report showing a larger than expected crude build and reduced refinery demand for crude. This morning, prices opened at $61.34, a loss of $2.26 for the week.
Diesel prices started the week with a small gain of 2.3 cents, but afterwards posted three straight days of losses, with another day of losses likely today. Wednesday saw a sharp decline, surprisingly outpacing crude losses despite showing an inventory draw for the week. Prices began the week at $1.9739, and rose to $1.9942 before falling to a low of $1.8558 this morning. Prices opened this morning at $1.8855, almost 9 cents (-4.5%) lower than their opening price for the week.
Gasoline prices also showed losses this week, though the chart is skewed by gasoline rolling from winter gasoline to summer gasoline on March 1. Overall the trend has also been lower, with markets falling every day but Monday. Gasoline prices began the week at $1.8150, and opened this morning at $1.8935. Given the 14 cent increase on March 1 due to changes in gasoline formulations, the apparent increase in prices actually reflects a large downward trend in prices.