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Another Day, Another 60 Cent Swing In Diesel Prices

Wednesday, Mar 9 2022
Market Talk

Another day, another 60 cent swing in diesel prices. Last week, ULSD futures set a record with a 34 cent price increase and a 45 cent trading range in 1 day, and this week, we’ve already seen a 51 cent increase followed by an 60 cent drop this AM. To put that in perspective, there had only been 3 months since 1999 that have experienced a 70 cent trading range, and we’ve already had an 87 cent swing this morning.  

Gasoline futures haven’t been quite as volatile as ULSD, but still the past 7 trading days all rank in the top 10 all time for biggest swings on the gasoline contract.  West Coast physical gasoline has surged well beyond futures as a rash of new refinery hiccups, and the loss of a crude import option from Eastern Siberia seemed to combine Tuesday to send spot values north of $4/gallon, nearly 80 cents above priced in the middle of the country.

While East Coast gasoline prices are 50 cents or more below their West Coast cousins, there have been multiple terminal outages reported in the past 24 hours as cargoes destined for the US have been diverted to Europe, putting strain on the NYH barge system. These extremes on the coasts create the first real test for US consumers that have railed against receiving Russian crude and product imports, and now are getting their wish.

The API reported a large decline in US diesel inventories last week of nearly 5.5 million barrel, which seemed to help ULSD continue surging to a fresh all-time high late Tuesday afternoon, but is an afterthought this morning as diesel prices now are experiencing their biggest single day drop in history (47 cents) 1 day after they experienced their biggest daily increase of 51 cents. The DOE weekly report will be released at its normal time this morning, and you’ll be forgiven if you don’t pay attention to it.

Click here to download a PDF of today's TACenergy Market Talk.

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