Yesterday, WTI crude closed down $0.63 to $46.35/bbl, HO closed down $0.0151 to $1.4711/gal and RBOB finished down $0.0186 to $1.4483/gal. The September HO and RBOB futures contract expires today and tomorrow the prompt trading month will be October.
The market has been down the past few days since Janet Yellen’s speech; expectations for a rate hike have strengthened the U.S. dollar, thus putting pressure on oil prices. Also adding pressure to prices are the seasonal switch to higher and less expensive RVP gasoline, the tropical disturbance is no longer a threat to refineries in the gulf coast, and lastly, the API statistics that were released last night. The APIs showed a build in crude inventories of 924,000 barrels, and Cushing had a draw of 600,000 barrels. Gasoline had a draw of 1.6 million barrels and distillates had a surprise build of 3 million barrels.
The DOE statistics released this morning were mixed bearish/bullish. The DOE reported a build in crude of 2.3 million barrels, but a draw of 1.0 million barrels in Cushing. Gasoline did have a draw but for only 691,000 barrels, and distillates had a smaller build than the API report at 1.5 million barrels. Since the release of the DOEs, the market has come off significantly. WTI is off $1.42 to $44.93, Oct RBOB is off $0.0352 to $1.3393, and OCT HO is off $0.0529 to $1.4318 as of 12:15 p.m. ET. Below are graphs of the inventory levels for crude, gasoline and distillates, showing that fundamentally nothing has changed and we are still are record high levels.