Crude Oil --
September 2013 WTI crude oil futures opened today at $104.18 and put in a daily low of $102.22. That figure is below key support at last week's twin lows at $102.67 and $102.93, but the contract rallied and ended the day at $103.62.
U.S. crude inventories softened 1.3 million barrels to 363.3 million barrels -- now just 6.6 million barrels behind year-ago.
September natgas opened today at $3.23 and fell all the way to support at $3.12 before rallying to $3.324 at the close. Continued strength in WTI is limiting upside potential. Look for declining crude to signal an opportunity for bulls. Note the charts at right. Today, natgas ended near the top of its daily range while WTI split the difference on the daily chart and ended in the middle of today's range at $103.62. This signals that natgas futures are prepared to bully up a bit. But for that to happen on a technical basis, WTI will have to lead the way and end close at the bottom of its range. That would simultaneously signal downside action for WTI and upside action for natgas.
September 13 Brent crude oil futures opened today at $107.66 and generally trailed throughout the day, ending the day on an uptick to $106.73.
Currently, the WTI/Brent crude spread stands at $3.11 with Brent on top.
According to EIA, the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased one cent to $3.63 per gallon as of August 5, 2013, one cent lower than last year at this time and below the year-ago price for the first time since May 2013. Prices decreased in all regions except the Midwest, where the price increased one cent to $3.59 per gallon. The largest decrease came on the West Coast, where the price fell four cents to $3.89 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price decreased one cent to $3.91 per gallon, six cents higher than last year at this time. Prices increased less than a penny on the West Coast to remain at $4.05 per gallon and two cents in the Rocky Mountains to $3.93 per gallon, while decreasing in all other regions.
Farm Diesel moved 2 cents higher according to Inputs Monitor data to a regional average of $3.378/gallon with two of the twelve states in our index unchanged. The highest price was recorded in the state of South Dakota at $3.62, unchanged over last week, while Missouri captured the regionwide low at $3.16.
According to EIA, total U.S. inventories of propane increased 0.5 million barrels from last week to end at 61.8 million barrels, but are 6.2 million barrels (9.2 percent) lower than the same period a year ago. Gulf Coast inventories gained by 1.2 million barrels, while those in all other regions declined. East Coast stocks dropped by 0.4 million barrels, while Midwest stocks decreased by 0.2 million barrels. Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories declined by 0.1 million barrels.
Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.1 percent of total propane inventories.
LP moved 1/4 cent higher in the Inputs Monitor Index to $1.34 1/4. The lowest priced LP in our index is in Nebraska at $1.19 while the high mark is at $1.69 in Michigan.
The national distillate supply firmed 1/2 million barrels to 126.5 -- 2.9 million barrels above year-ago.