Crude Oil --
August 2013 WTI crude oil futures opened today at $106.15 as news of a 9 million barrel falloff in U.S. storage adds uncertainty to crude futures. Meanwhile, a deadly train derailment and fire in a small Quebec town where 76 crude oil tankers broke away from the engines, rolled into town and derailed before catching fire made headlines on Sunday. This combined with a spill and flooding related problems in Alberta has injected anxiety into WTI.
U.S. crude stocks fell 9.9 million barrels to 373.9 million barrels in storage during the report week -- 4.3 million barrels below year-ago.
August crude cracked its head on $107.45 earlier today and trailed. WTI just can't seem to catch a break. Once the supply disruptions are remedied and the bad press fades, we expect WTI to creep back below $100.
August 13 Brent crude oil futures opened today at $108.44 and while Brent has not made much of an upside run, ongoing unrest in Egypt and fears for transit of crudes through the Suez Canal are limiting downside action. However, perceived waning demand from China continues to favor lower Brent pricing ahead.
Most troubling of all is the extremely narrow Brent-WTI spread which thinned to as little as $1.47 this morning.
According to EIA, the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased less than a penny to $3.49 per gallon as of July 8, 2013, up eight cents from last year at this time. The Midwest price increased two cents to $3.41 per gallon, while prices in all other regions decreased. The largest decrease came in the Rocky Mountain region, where the price is $3.61 per gallon, down three cents from last week.
The national average diesel fuel price increased one cent to $3.83 per gallon, 15 cents higher than last year at this time. The Rocky Mountain price decreased one cent to $3.81 per gallon, while prices in all other regions increased. The largest increase came on the Gulf Coast, where the price is up two cents to $3.75 per gallon.
Farm Diesel moved 4 cents lower according to Inputs Monitor data to a regional average of $3.361/gallon. The highest price was recorded in the state of North Dakota at $3.54 while Wisconsin captured the region wide low at $3.23.
Total U.S. inventories of propane increased 1.0 million barrels from last week to end at 57.4 million barrels, but are 5.8 million barrels (9.2 percent) lower than the same period a year ago. The Gulf Coast region led the gain with 1.0 million barrels, while East Coast stocks increased by 0.2 million barrels. Midwest stocks increased by 0.1 million barrels and Rocky Mountain/West Coast stocks decreased by 0.3 million barrels.
Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.3 percent of total propane inventories.
LP moved 4 cents lower in the Inputs Monitor Index to $1.365.
The national distillate supply firmed 3.0 million barrels to 123.8 -- 2.9 million barrels above year-ago.