Prices Red Across The Board
Prices are red across the board this morning, extending Wednesday’s losses sparked by the EIA data release yesterday. The 6.5 million barrel build in crude oil seemed to outweigh the 1-2 million barrel draw in refined products and sent the complex reeling, oddly led by gasoline futures which sold off nearly 6 cents.
This morning’s price action seems a little more balanced between products: American and European benchmarks are down about a dollar a barrel and refined products are down the same$/gallon equivalent at ~2.5 cents. WTI prices have broken below the $70 mark previously breached last month despite the uncertainty surrounding the Saudi/journalist situation and the all-but-forgotten decrease in exports from Iran.
Midwest refinery turnaround season is in full swing this year, throughputs in the region have gone from seasonal record highs to record lows in just the last five weeks. While the build in stockpiles leading up to turnaround season show that the refineries have prepared for these planned shutdowns, disruptions can still occur if plant maintenance takes longer than expected or units fail upon restart.