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Refined Products

Recap: Weak economic data out of China pushed the bulls back, once again allowing bears to take over the ring. With China's official Purchasing Manager's Index falling to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July, fear once again rose throughout the marketplace, bringing oil back down. The October WTI contract dipped to a low of $45.22 before paring gains for a settlement of $45.41, down $3.79. Brent for October delivery fell 8.1% before shaving losses to settle at $49.56, down $4.59.

Products slipped as well with October RBOB falling as much as 7.4% before paring losses to settle at $1.3956, down 10.35 cents. ULSD for October delivery fell to a low of $1.5729, down 7.5% before settling at $1.5779, down 12.33 cents. Cracks spread slipped again with the October RBOB crack settling at $13.2052 from $13.7622 yesterday. The October ULSD crack settled at $20.8618, down from $22.2504.

Fundamental News: According to a report by the EIA, the price of US gasoline could fall if the US were to allow crude oil exports.  It stated that exports would put more crude on the global markets and push down Brent crude prices, which in turn results in lower petroleum product prices for US consumers.

Local news agencies quoted Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying that Russia will not deliberately cut oil production to support prices, however its output may decline if prices remain low.  He said Russia was ready to discuss measures aimed at oil price stabilization with OPEC and other key producers. 

The CBOE's crude volatility index increased nearly 10% during intraday trading on Tuesday.  The index was trading at its highest level since March.

Libya's eastern state oil firm AGOCO, which runs the Hariga port and the country's Sarir oilfield, produced 225,000 bpd in August.  Its Nafoura and Bayda oilfields were still closed due to power cuts or protests.

The supply of North Sea crude oil that underpins the Brent benchmark will average 929,000 bpd in October, down from a revised 1.04 million bpd in September. 

Iraq's southern oil exports in August fell to 3.021 million bpd on average from 3.064 million bpd in July, according to Southern Oil Co.  Exports from Iraq's north via Ceyhan in Turkey averaged 57,000 bpd, bringing that country's total exports to 3.078 million bpd. 

A tanker is lifting one million barrels of crude at Libya's main onshore oil export port of Hariga.  The port is working normally despite a small spill outside the port. 

According to a Reuters poll, oil prices have fallen too far, too fast and should recover gradually over the next year as supply growth slows and demand recovers.  The price of Brent crude is forecast to average $57.40/barrel in 2015 and increase to $62.30/barrel in 2016.  Meanwhile, the price of WTI is forecast to average $57/barrel in 2016.

The Institute for Supply Management said its national factory activity index fell to 51.1 in August from 52.7 in July. 

The IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde said global economic growth is likely to be weaker than earlier expected due to slower recovery in advanced economies and a further slowdown in emerging countries. 

Euro zone manufacturing growth eased last month.  Markit's final manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was 52.3 in August, down from a flash estimate of 52.4 and July's 52.4.

Activity in China's factory sector contracted at its fastest pace in almost 6 ½ years in August.  The final Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 47.3 in August, the lowest reading since March 2009 from July's 47.8. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Oct $45.07, down 34 cents

RBOB - Oct  $1.4170, up 2.14 cents

ULSD - Oct $1.5842, up 63 points

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Natural Gas

Tuesday, September 1st, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.708, nearly two cents above Monday’s closing price of $2.689.  Emerging into the market in a gradual ascent, prices rose to the intraday high of $2.721 by 9:40AM.  Trading evenly for the next twenty minutes, prices then plummeted to $2.675.  Mounting a modest recovery near 10:30AM, the contract nearly marked $2.700 before tumbling lower once again.  Repeating this undulating pattern through the balance of the morning and into the afternoon, October gradually stepped higher with each trough and crest.  Jumping higher just ahead of 2:30PM, October closed relatively flat on Tuesday at $2.702.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was down 84 cents; Natural Gas was down three cents; Heating Oil was down slightly; and, Gasoline was up a penny.

Cash prices were higher in New York and lower in New England.

Natural Gas Glossary

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