Tuesday ended with crude closing down $0.11/bbl to $45.94, RBOB down $0.0161/bbl to $1.4021 and HO down $0.0022/bbl to $1.5938. Currently, RBOB and HO futures are trading between a penny and two cents cheaper than yesterday’s settlement prices. The API data will be released later today and the DOE stats will be released tomorrow due to the Labor Day holiday weekend. These statistical data releases will be strong influencers on the way prices will move as the week continues.
Reuters has produced its own statistical estimates in lieu of the normal data releases. Reuters predicts a build in crude of 200,000 barrels, distillate build of 1.3 million barrels and gasoline remaining flat in relation to the DOE numbers from last week. Larger builds in crude stocks are expected due to strong domestic production and the $0.66 spread between the first and second month contracts.
Refinery issues have been a big story over the past few days. The largest refinery in the nation, ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge refinery that produces 523,200 barrels per day, had to shut a crude distillation unit over the holiday weekend. Valero had to shut down its 150,000 barrels per day crude unit due to an issue with its diesel/kerosene hydrotreater Sunday at its 350,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas refinery. Marathon has announced that it has initiated a restart of its 110,000-bpd Catlettsburg, KY refinery after it had to be shut down over the holiday weekend; however it has been reported that this unit will also be offline in early October for 35 to 45 days due to planned maintenance and turnaround.