8/17/2015 Market Update

What the market is going to do next is still unclear. While the trend has been down as of late, all contracts are trading close to flat. Heat has been able to trade up to $1.5741 today, well above the next support level of $1.5212, and WTI is currently trading at $42.44, above the support level of $42.03. However, traders are keeping a keen eye on RBOB; this is the only contract last Friday to stay above the 8-day, but is currently down -$0.0278 to $1.6588. The RBOB mark to watch is a close above $1.6880 which would indicate recovery. Anything below, could spiral down to the next support level of $1.6048.

BP’s Whiting refinery continues to stir up a mess in Chicago cash market, which has gas currently trading at 75 over the MERC, as well as spiking gas prices in the middle and upper Midwest. AAA authorities attribute BP’s refinery issues to an average of a 45 cent increase in unleaded gasoline prices statewide in Michigan, and believe that a worst-case-scenario would be an increase of 80 cents over the next month (Detroit News). Plausible indeed because BP’s Whiting refinery, which had hardware problems in its largest crude unit, could easily be down for a month or longer.  Michigan attorney general has already warned statewide retailers against any attempt to price-gouge or price-fix.

Nationwide, crude stockpiles remain more than 90 million barrels above the five-year average and will continue to rise in Cushing with the issues at BP’s refinery, as well as the driving season coming to an end, which brings weaker demand. In addition, turnaround season starts in September with 555,000 bpd of capacity planned to be offline, which will build up crude stockpiles even more. 

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