Yesterday, oil prices softened a bit after Monday’s large rally that hit two year highs. WTI Crude closed down $0.15/bbl to $57.20, RBOB closed down $0.0147/gal to $1.8153, and HO finished down $0.0203/gal to $1.9219. The market continued downward after American Petroleum Institute (API) statistics were released yesterday afternoon. API reported a much smaller draw in crude inventories then expected at 1.6 million barrels. Gasoline inventories built 520,000 barrels, while distillates drew 3.1 million barrels. The surprising crude statistics is outweighing the draw in distillates, because as of 10:15 a.m. ET HO is down almost $0.01/gal, RBOB is down $0.0170/gal and WTI is down $0.35/bbl.
Other bearish news this morning is that China’s oil imports for October dropped to the lowest in over a year at 7.3 million barrels per day. This is followed a record high of 9 million barrels per day in the month of September.
The DOE statistics released this morning, differed a good bit from the APIs. The DOEs were even more bearish on crude inventories, reporting a build of 2.2 million barrels with 720,000 barrels coming from Cushing, OK. Distillates inventories were very similar in both reports, DOEs showing a 3.4 million barrel draw; however, for gasoline inventories the DOEs showed a bullish number at a draw of 3.3 million barrels. After the release of the DOEs, oil prices were initially driven by the crude statistics with the market trading off across the board. However, we could see refined products rally back after those bullish numbers.
The most important support level to watch today is on RBOB at $1.8028.