WTI crude prices remain in the $52.00-$52.50/b range this morning. Yesterday brought some choppy up-and-down price cycles, but the price range stayed around $52.20-$52.60/b. WTI opened at $52.36/b today, a decrease of $0.39 below yesterday’s opening price. Current prices are $52.37/b, $0.04 below Tuesday’s close. Product prices have shown some volatility, but they have trended down.
Diesel opened at $1.6219/gallon in today’s session. This was a decrease of 1.24 cents (0.76%) below Tuesday’s opening price. Current prices are $1.6203/gallon, down by 0.16 cents from yesterday’s closing price.
Gasoline opened at $1.7016/gallon today, a significant drop of 2.13 cents, or 1.24%, from yesterday’s opening. Prices are $1.7011/gallon currently, down by 0.99 cents from yesterday’s close.
The market had anticipated across-the-board draws on crude, gasoline and diesel inventories, of 1.5 mmbbls, 1.9 mmbbls, and 1.0 mmbbls respectively. The API numbers yesterday reportedly fell short, indicating a crude stock draw of only 0.8 mmbbls, plus a gasoline stock build of 1.4 mmbbls instead of a draw. Diesel stocks were seen falling 1.8 mmbbls. Gasoline prices in particular were weighed down by the prospect of a build. The EIA will release official data later today.
Oil prices have been supported in part by a weaker U.S. Dollar. The Dollar Index has opened lower in five of the last six trading sessions. U.S. economic data showed a slowing of the reflationary trend, and softness in the housing market. Analysts believe there is less than a 50% likelihood of another interest rate being made during the Fed meeting in June.
After a delay caused by technical difficulties, the EIA has released data on gasoline and diesel retail prices for the week ended April 17th. Prices rose for both fuels at the national level. Gasoline retail prices rose by 1.2 cents/gallon, and diesel prices rose by 1.5 cents/gallon. Details follow in our second article.