Crude Oil --
August 2013 WTI crude oil futures opened today at $105.78 and spent the morning flirting with $105.00, but found strong support near there and moved higher to end the day 47 cents higher at $106.47.
U.S. crude stocks fell 6.9 million barrels to 367.0 million barrels -- 10.4 million barrels behind year-ago.
September 13 Brent crude oil futures moved to the front month position and followed a similar path as WTI today, opening at $107.96 and falling 50 cents before finding an upward draft to end the day up 45 cents of its own at $108.59.
Most troubling of all is the extremely narrow Brent-WTI spread which currently stands at $2.12.
According to EIA, the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline increased 15 cents to $3.64 per gallon as of July 15, 2013, up 21 cents from last year at this time. This is the largest one-week increase since February 2013. Regionally, the largest increase came in the Midwest, where the price is up 23 cents to $3.64 per gallon. The Gulf Coast price is $3.44 per gallon, 15 cents higher than last week, and on the East Coast the price is up 13 cents to $3.59 per gallon. On the West Coast the price is $3.93 per gallon, a nickel higher than last week. Rounding out the regions, the Rocky Mountain price increased less than a penny to remain at $3.61 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price increased four cents to $3.87 per gallon, 17 cents higher than last year at this time. The East Coast, Gulf Coast, and West Coast prices all increased five cents, to $3.88, $3.80, and $4.00 per gallon, respectively. The Midwest price is now $3.85 per gallon, three cents higher than last week. Rounding out the regions, the Rocky Mountain price is up two cents to $3.83 per gallon.
Farm Diesel moved just over 1/2 cent lower according to Inputs Monitor data to a regional average of $3.355/gallon with half of the states in our index unchanged. The highest price was recorded again in the state of North Dakota at $3.55, up 1 cent week-over, while Missouri captured the regionwide low at $3.22.
Total U.S. inventories of propane increased 0.6 million barrels from last week to end at 58.0 million barrels, but are 6.8 million barrels (10.5 percent) lower than the same period a year ago. The Rocky Mountain/West Coast region led the gain with 0.4 million barrels, while Gulf Coast and Midwest stocks each increased by 0.2 million barrels. East Coast stocks decreased by 0.2 million barrels.
Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.1 percent of total propane inventories.
LP moved 2 cents lower in the Inputs Monitor Index to $1.346.
The national distillate supply firmed 3.9 million barrels to 127.7 -- 4.1 million barrels above year-ago. This represents a solid gain toward the five-year average supply and should help limit the upside for farm diesel, and if we are lucky, home heat this winter.