Headlines were quite dull over the three-day holiday weekend and with that early morning WTI, RBOB, and heating oil futures were stable and relatively unchanged. Since then, WTI is down $0.36 to $39.09, RBOB is down 24 points and heat is down $0.0197. These minimal drops are cutting into last Thursdays gains, which were sparked by the Baker Hughes weekly U.S. active drilling rig count report. Two weeks ago Baker Hughes reported an increase of one rig, which snapped a 13-week negative trend, however, last week the downhill trend continued on as U.S. oil rigs fell by 15.
In the New York Harbor cash market we saw an increase in the spot price of winter-grade (higher RVP) 13.5# gasoline late last week. Refiners are producing less high-RVP gasoline as they head into the summer months yet buyers continue to want the cheaper winter-grade, therefore prices are inevitably running up. Once again, in the areas that are affected, such as the 7 counties that surround Pittsburgh, terminals need to have low-RVP gasoline in their tanks by April 1st and must be completely converted by May 1st; and gasoline deliveries into retail locations need be lower-RVP gas beginning May 1st and those stations must have their tanks converted by June 1st.
Looking ahead to economic news this week which may or may not have an impact on the crude futures market:
- U.S. personal spending report - Monday
- Federal Reserve Chair Yellen speaks at an event in New York – Tuesday
- U.S. EIA oil inventory report – Wednesday
- Nuclear Security Summit with more than 50 would leaders meet in D.C. – Thursday
- U.S. unemployment report and Baker Hughes rig count report – Friday