The back and forth action continues in energy markets as an early Friday sell-off has wiped out most of the gains made by refined products the past two days. Trade talk and Twitter tantrums are grabbing most of the headlines as the world plays wait-and-see on a number of fronts that could impact oil & refined products on a direct and indirect basis.
The DOE report was perhaps most notable for oil inventories building even when most were predicting another large draw down due to reduced Canadian imports. While Cushing stocks did decline again, PADD 3 inventories made up for it with oil exports dropping back from record levels the week prior.
US oil production held steady at 10.9 million barrels/day for a 4th straight week. Refinery runs dipped on the week, but remain well above previous record highs for this time of year. Diesel and Gasoline inventories continue their divergent pattern, with diesel stocks below their 5 year seasonal range, and gasoline at the top of its range. Domestic demand for both products is healthy, but refiners are still producing much more than the country can consume.
RIN values spiked more than a nickel after news broke that Scott Pruitt was resigning as the EPA administrator, in what appears to be some early betting that the agency will be more stringent on refiners after the increase in RFS waivers granted to small refineries this year.