Crude Oil --
September 2013 WTI crude oil is currently working on a triple top high in the $108.00 range. Current resistance lies at $108.93 from mid-July. The contract opened today at $106.98 and rose sharply. Support lies at $106.44 and $103.00. A move below $103 would signal downside potential below psychological $100.00, but renewed tensions in North Africa and reduced OPEC production will keep that from happening in the near-term. Look for prices to continue to range between $104.00 and $109.00.
U.S. crude inventories softened 2.8 million barrels to 360.5 million barrels -- now just 5.7 million barrels behind year-ago.
September 13 Brent crude oil futures opened today at $110.88 and moved higher to $111.11. Support lies at $109.00 and $107.60. Declining OPEC production and bloodletting in Egypt have raised fears in this market as well. Look for Brent to ease higher as we enter the October contract.
Currently, the WTI/Brent crude spread stands at $3.17 with Brent on top -- 6 cents wider than the same time last week.
According to EIA, the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased seven cents to $3.56 per gallon as of August 12, 2013, 16 cents lower than last year at this time. Prices decreased in all regions except the Rocky Mountains, where the price increased one cent to $3.64 per gallon. The largest decrease came in the Midwest, where the price fell 11 cents to $3.48 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price decreased one cent to $3.90 per gallon, seven cents lower than last year at this time. Prices decreased in all regions, led by two-cent drops in the Midwest and the Gulf Coast, to $3.86 per gallon and $3.82 per gallon, respectively, according to EIA.
Farm Diesel moved 1/2 cent higher according to Inputs Monitor data to a regional average of $3.386/gallon with five of the twelve states in our index unchanged. The highest price was recorded in the state of North Dakota at $3.49, unchanged over last week, while Missouri once again captured the regionwide low at $3.22 -- up a penny on the week.
According to EIA, total U.S. inventories of propane rose slightly from last week to end at 61.9 million barrels, but are 7.2 million barrels (10.4 percent) lower than the same period a year ago. Midwest inventories gained by 0.6 million barrels, while Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories increased by 0.1 million barrels. Gulf Coast stocks decreased by 0.6 million barrels, while East Coast inventories remained flat.
Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 4.9 percent of total propane inventories.
LP moved 3 1/2 cents higher in the Inputs Monitor Index to $1.377. The lowest priced LP in our index is in North Dakota at $1.21 while the high mark is at $1.75 in Michigan. Nebraska added 15 cents during the report week while Kansas added 11 cents and Michigan firmed 6 cents. These increases along with a fresh 90 day forecast calling for above average precip for the early fall signal upward movement ahead for LP. If you have yet to book fall dryer needs, check your local prices and consider topping off before prices move higher.
The national distillate supply firmed 2 million barrels to 128.5 -- 4.3 million barrels above year-ago.