On Monday crude opened at $69.52, the highest in a multi-year period. With the economy trying to find a strong balance between the rising demand with summer travel picking up, along with higher output from Iran, there are differing opinions on what prices will do in the coming weeks. Talks between Iran and the United States are ongoing and predicted to continue for quite some time. During negotiations, some have suggested a deal could send energy prices higher even with more supply in the market, since it would add more certainty. Those with the opposite view say more supply could reduce prices, at least for the short-term.
Inventory data published by the EIA on Wednesday aligned with the market’s expectation on direction but differed widely on size. Markets expected crude inventories to fall while product inventories rose, which was the case. However, the crude draw was nearly double the projected amount, and both diesel and gasoline inventories rose far more than expected. Although such hefty fuel builds would typically cause prices to fall, the market focused instead on falling crude stocks and pushed prices higher.
Refinery utilization finally cleared the 90% utilization threshold, hitting 91.3% for the past week. For the first time since January 2020, US refiners are using more than 90% of their total processing capacity to pump out gasoline, diesel, and other refined products. Dampened demand caused them to cut output, so rising levels suggest refiners are growing confident in the state of consumer demand.
This Week in Energy Prices
Today, crude opened at $70.10, an increase of $0.58 from Monday’s opening price of $69.52. Throughout the week, crude rose steadily day-to-day, with this morning’s opening price being the highest of the week and the biggest jump in price occurring on Wednesday. This morning’s opening price of $70.10 was the highest in a multi-year period.
Today diesel opened at $2.1417, an increase of $0.0283 from Monday’s opening price of $2.1134. Diesel prices were volatile throughout the week, with Friday’s opening price of $2.1417 being the highest of the week and the highest in a 3-year period.
Today gasoline opened at a price of $2.2094, a meager increase of $0.0039 from Monday’s opening price of $2.2055. Throughout the week gasoline prices increased slightly, with the biggest jump occurring on Wednesday with an opening price of 2.2186, the highest in a multi-week period.