Yesterday, the expiring April WTI contract closed down $0.88 to $47.34/bbl, RBOB closed down $0.0061 to $1.6052/gal, and HO finished down $0.0108 to $1.5033/gal. The market was weak across the board yesterday over concerns of the continuing increase in U.S. crude inventories. The weakness continued last night into this morning due to the API statistics released yesterday afternoon. The API stats showed a build in crude inventories of 4.5 million barrels. Cushing, OK contributed 2 million barrels of the overall build, as well as reaching over 92% capacity; a very bearish stat for WTI. Refined products both showed a draw; distillates 883,000 barrels and gasoline 4.9 million barrels.
The API statistics were followed up by very similar DOE statistics released today at 10:30 a.m. ET. The DOEs showed an even slightly larger build in crude inventories of 4.9 million barrels, with a build of 1.4 million barrels coming from Cushing. Distillate inventories drew by 1.9 million barrels, and gasoline drew by 2.8 million barrels. These bearish crude statistics are driving the market down; the concern around U.S. production is outweighing any OPEC cuts or rhetoric around extending cuts.
It is important to note the volatility in renewables this week. RIN values increased significantly, most likely attributed to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) remaining unchanged for 2017.
As of 11:30 a.m. ET, WTI is off over $0.50/bbl, HO is off about $0.0120/gal, and RBOB is down around $0.01/gal.