Yesterday, WTI crude closed down $0.06 to $53.14/bbl, RBOB closed up $0.0075 to $1.6798/gal, and HO finished up $0.0094 to $1.6139/gal. The tug of war between the bears and the bulls continues. Bullish news came from Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister yesterday stating the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC members is working and he is optimistic that production cuts will continue if all members work collectively together. On the other hand, the bearish news is that U.S. rig counts continue to increase. This is supported with the bearish API report that was released yesterday evening.
The API statistics showed a build in crude inventories of 11.6 million barrels, a big surprise since a build of 2 million barrels was expected. Cushing showed a build of 788,000 barrels. Both refined products had a bigger draw than expected, gasoline at 5 million barrels, and distillates 2.9 million barrels. Early this morning, the bearish crude statistic was driving the market. WTI was trading down, and both HO and RBOB were basically flat, awaiting the DOE statistics.
The DOE statistics released today at 10:30 a.m. ET basically mirrored the APIs. The DOE stats showed a crude build of 8.2 million barrels, 867,000 of which was in Cushing. Gasoline drew slightly more than what the API reported at 6.5 million barrels, and distillates drew 2.7 million barrels. Since the large build in crude was confirmed, the market is still responding to that. RBOB has some strength trading up almost penny, but HO is down a penny and WTI is down about ninety cents. With the mixed fundamentals, the market will most likely continue to trade range bound.