Prices continued to decline yesterday. WTI closed down $0.84/bbl to $36.34, RBOB closed down $0.0144/gal to $1.4082, and HO finished down $0.0188/gal to $1.1777. Since the release of the API statistics last night, the market has had some gains, with both HO and RBOB trading up between one and two cents. The API report showed a build in crude of 1.5 million barrels, and both gasoline and distillates had slight draws of 1.2 million and 800,000 barrels respectively. A build in crude is expected in the DOE statistics report today. Crude inventories have not declined in the second week of March since 1998.
The market is also trading up this morning due to more talks of a production freeze. OPEC and Russia will meet on April 17th in Doha, Qatar to discuss the freeze, and this meeting will occur with or without Iran’s involvement.
Keep an eye out for Janet Yellen’s news conference at the conclusion of the Fed’s FOMC meeting this afternoon. This usually occurs around 2-2:30 p.m. ET when the market is closing. Yellen will address if there will be an interest rate hike this spring and explain the Fed’s rationale as to why or why not.
The DOE statistics released today were very close to the APIs last night. The DOEs show a build in crude of 1.3 million barrels, in which 545,000 barrels were in Cushing, OK. Gasoline inventories had a draw of 747,000 barrels, and distillates had a draw of 1.1 million barrels. Since the release of these stats, HO is now up over four cents, RBOB is still only up about a penny.