Oil prices rose as much as 2.6 percent on Monday

Recap: Oil prices rose as much as 2.6 percent on Monday, with May WTI rising to a high of $61.72 a barrel, and May Brent reaching a high of $69.19 a barrel. Prices were exalted by upbeat global economic news and tighter supplies. Both China and the U.S. reported positive manufacturing news, with numbers being better than expected. Prices reached their highest level in almost 5 months, and held firm throughout the session, slightly trimming gains before the settlement period. May WTI settled at $61.59 a barrel, up $1.45, or 2.41 percent, while Brent for June delivery tacked on $1.43, or 2.12 percent to settle at $69.01 a barrel. May RBOB rose 0.9% to end at $1.8989 a gallon, while May heating oil rose 0.9% to $1.9881 a gallon.

Technical Analysis: For the first time since November, WTI settled above $61.13, the 50 percent retracement provided by the range between the October 2018 high of $79.43 and the December low of $43.59. This puts WTI in a position to test the 200-day moving average, which is currently set at $62.39. Above this level, additional resistance is set at $62.25. Support is set at $61.13 and below that at $60.54

Fundamental News: Genscape reported that crude stocks held in Cushing, Oklahoma in the week ending Friday, March 29th increased by 140,562 barrels on the week but fell by 170,121 barrels from Tuesday, March 26th to 48,632,974 barrels.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecast second quarter Brent crude oil prices at $74/barrel.  It sees Brent crude prices averaging $70/barrel in 2019 and $65/barrel in 2020.  It sees WTI oil prices averaging $59/barrel in 2019 and $60/barrel in 2020.

According to a Reuters survey, OPEC’s total oil production fell to a four-year low in March of 30.4 million bpd, down 280,000 bpd on the month.  In March, the 11 OPEC members bound by the new output cut agreement achieved 135% of pledged cuts, up from 101% in February.  The survey suggests that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are pressing ahead with even larger supply cuts than called for by OPEC’s latest deal.  

Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said the balance between supply and demand in the oil market is fragile.  He called on crude producers to be wary of issues caused by US sanctions.  He said it should be straight-forward to extend the global oil output deal between OPEC and non-OPEC countries and that the deal was going well.  Following a meeting with Russia’s Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, Iran’s Oil Minister said he and his Russian counterpart had agreed at the meeting to strengthen ties between the two oil exporters.     

Iraq’s Oil Ministry reported that the country’s oil exports fell to an average of 3.377 million bpd in March.  Iraq exported 3.62 million bpd of crude oil in February.  Exports from Iraq’s southern Basra oil ports stood at 3.254 million bpd, down from 3.54 million bpd in February.  Bad weather in the Gulf halted the loading of crude on some days.  Shipments from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk oilfields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan increased to 99,000 bpd from 63,000 bpd in February. 

IIR Energy reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 1.2 million bpd of capacity in the week ending April 5th, increasing the available refining capacity by 650,000 bpd from the previous week.  The offline capacity is expected to fall to 984,000 bpd in the week ending April 12th. 

Early Market Call – as of 8:25 AM EDT

WTI – May $61.75, up 17 cents

RBOB – May $1.8940, down 47 points

HO – May $1.9889, up 11 points

View the Sprague Refined Products Market Watch Report in a downloadable pdf format by clicking below.

Click to view more online:
Heating Oil Supplier

Diesel Supplier
View market updates
View our refined products glossary
Go to SpraguePORT online

This market update is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as advice on any transaction nor is it a solicitation to buy or sell commodities. Sprague makes no representations or warranties with respect to the contents of such news, including, without limitation, its accuracy and completeness, and Sprague shall not be responsible for the consequence of reliance upon any opinions, statements, projections and analyses presented herein or for any omission or error in fact. The views expressed in this material are through the period as of the date of this report and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance or results and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied, or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without Sprague’s express written consent.