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Petroleum Report: National Average Gasoline Price Inflated by Midwest Gains

May 23, 2013
By: Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Editor

Crude Oil --

July 2013 WTI crude oil futures opened today at $94.18 and volume was high throughout the day. The contract traced through a choppy range between $92.21 and $94.35 before settling 12 cents higher on the day at $94.40. Next support lies at May 2's $90.88 and a move below that level would unlock downside potential to $89.50.

Bulls need a push above $97.38 to realize upside potential and such a move would suggest a return to early April's $98.20.

July 13 Brent crude oil futures opened today at $102.29, continuing its downward trajectory. The trend suggests next support lies at $100.30. A violation of that mark would suggest downside potential to $98.00. Bulls next target is resistance at $103.51.

July Brent closed today at $102.57 -- down $0.03 on the day.

Fuels --

Strong regional increases in Midwest gasoline pricing in the last few days are not fully reflected in this EIA data which surveys pricing from Wednesday-Wednesday. For a full rundown of why gasoline prices have spiked regionally while remaining mostly stable in the rest of the nation, read your Monitor's Midwest Gasoline Prices Soar as Production Slows from this morning.

The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline increased seven cents for the second consecutive week, to $3.67 per gallon as of May 20, 2013, down four cents from last year at this time. The largest increase came in the Midwest, where the price increased 19 cents to $3.87 per gallon.

The national average diesel fuel price increased two cents for the second consecutive week, to $3.89 per gallon, seven cents lower than last year at this time.

Farm Diesel moved slightly lower with 6 of 12 states in our Index unchanged week-over. The regional average price as reported by your Inputs Monitor stands at $3.424/gallon -- down $0.003 from the previous week.

Propane --

Total U.S. inventories of propane increased 2.2 million barrels last week to end at 44.0 million barrels, but are 10.0 million barrels (18.6 percent) lower than the same period a year ago. The Midwest and Gulf Coast regions led the gain by rising 1.0 million barrels each, while Rocky Mountain/West Coast and East Coast inventories each increased by just 0.1 million barrels.

Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 7.9 percent of total propane inventories.disstuss5 23

LP moved $0.007 lower in this week's Monitor to $1.459.

Distillate --

The national distillate supply fell 1.1 million barrels to 118.8 million barrels -- 0.7 million barrels below the same time last year. Reductions here are mostly due to decreased seasonal demand for heating oil, effectively curtailing production.




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