Yesterday, crude closed up $0.20/bbl to $41.85, HO closed up $0.0148/gal to $1.3690, and RBOB finished up $0.0561/gal to $1.3630. However, the market is currently trading down for crude and both refined products.
The following factors are currently supporting the volatility in the market:
1. Monday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency increased its Renewable Fuel Standard thus increasing the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). As a result it is now more expensive to blend gasoline. This pushed RBOB up yesterday.
2. There is an OPEC meeting in Vienna this Friday. There are reports that during the meeting Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, is going to propose a 5% cut in oil production in an effort to boost prices.
3. Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve Chair, is speaking today in regards to the possible increase in interest rates. If interest rates increase later this month, it would be the first time since 2008.
4. API data released last night showed a build for all inventories. With the market currently down, the expectations are that the DOE stats released today will mirror the API report.
- Crude: +1.6 million barrles; Cushing: +430,000 barrels
- Distillates: +2.7 million barrels
- Gasoline: +860,000 barrels
- Refinery Runs: +1.7%
5. The U.S. dollar strengthened overnight, putting more downward pressure on prices today.