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Refined Products

Recap: Oil prices rose as the dollar weakened and after Genscape reported a decrease of almost 313,000 barrels of oil at Cushing, OK. Gains were pared after the Saudi Energy Minister stated that he believed there was no need for significant intervention in the oil market. October WTI tacked on 56 cents, or 1.20%, to settle at $47.33, while Brent for October delivery settled at $49.67, up 62 cents, or 1.26%. 

September RBOB gained less than half a cent to $1.511 a gallon, while September heating oil added 1.3 cents, or 0.9%, to $1.509 a gallon.

Fundamental News:  Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih, does not believe it is necessary for any significant intervention in oil markets at this time.  Saudi Arabia produced 10.67 million bpd of crude oil.  The country's Energy Minister said production has remained around that level, though he could not cite a specific number for August.

Genscape reported a draw of more than 313,000 barrels at Cushing, Oklahoma during the week of August 23rd.

According to the Association of American Railroads, US crude rail volumes fell by nearly 50% in the first half of the year compared with last year.  In the first half of 2016, US major railroad operators originated 119,715 carloads of crude, down 104,442 carloads or 46.6% from the first half of 2015. 

China's commercial crude oil inventories at the end of July fell 5.7% from the previous month, marking the first decline in three months and the largest drop in percentage terms in at least a year, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. Chinese crude stockpiles fell to their lowest level in three years.  Separately, China's implied oil demand fell 0.3% form a year earlier to 10.58 million bpd in July. 

Four small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels appeared to make a "high speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Straits of Hormuz on Tuesday. Two of the vessels came within 300 yards of the U.S. warship before sailing off.   The White House said the intention of the Iranian vessels were not clear.   

Mexican government officials announced that Mexico will ban the sale of gasoline oxygenated with ethanol beginning in late October in three major urban centers as part of a push to fight the worst pollution in over a decade due to high concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere. While Mexico approved the imports of such a grade of gasoline in April, such a blend of ethanol and gasoline is not yet present in the Mexican market. However, the new rule anticipates any such imports in the future as Mexico opens up its long shuttered energy sector. The ban will apply to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Pemex imports around 50% of the country's gasoline needs.  

According to Credit Suisse, refining margins increased in three of five US regional petroleum districts in the week ending August 19th.  Margins in the West Coast region increased by $2.99 to $17.25/barrel followed by the Gulf Coast region, where margins increased by 98 cents to $12.11/barrel.  The East Coast region's margins increased by 85 cents to $8.34/barrel.  Margins in the Rockies region fell by $3.23 to $22.35/barrel while margins in the Midwest fell by 85 cents to $15.48/barrel.

Early Market Call - as of 9:15 AM EDT

WTI - Oct $47.40 up 7 cents

RBOB - Sep $1.4979 down 1.35 cents

HO - Sep $1.5010 down 84 points

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Natural Gas

Thursday, August 25th, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.810, roughly a penny above Wednesday’s closing price of $2.796.  Trading steadily higher out of the gate, prices rose to the $2.83 mark ahead of the 10:30AM storage publication.  As the report hit the wire, the contract initially jumped to $2.861, but sank to the intraday low of $2.797 moments later.  Mounting a staggered ascent into the afternoon, prices rose to mark the intraday high of $2.863 at 12:20PM and again at 1:00PM.  Modest selling took hold for the balance of the day as September closed higher on Thursday at $2.846.

The EIA Natural Gas Storage Report published on Thursday showed an 11 BCF injection to storage for the week ended August 19th – nearly even with the market estimate of 12 BCF.  Total working gas in storage was reported as 3,350 BCF, 8.9% above this time last year and 11.7% above the five-year average.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was unchanged; Natural Gas was down four cents; Heating Oil was down one cent; and, Gasoline was down one cent.  Additionally, cash prices were higher in New York and New England.


Natural Gas Glossary

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