That slowdown can also be seen in the second chart: Since the end of August, the RBOB
price is down 30 percent, while crude oil is off by just a few percentage points.
"What we are likely to see today is a potential moderation, if not pull back in RBOB
prices, after the gains of the previous session, given that of the six refineries in the path of Sandy, only two Port Reading and Linden are currently shut down," said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity market strategy at BNP Paribas in London.
On the refined product front RBOB
gasoline has reentered the longer term upward trading channel while the spot HO contract is heading in that direction but still has some ground to make-up.
Prices of gasoline component RBOB
for September delivery slumped to a fresh trough of 186.65 cents a gallon on Tuesday, the lowest intraday price since early February.
In addition, the NYMEX Crude Oil, RBOB
Gasoline and Heating Oil Minute-Marker futures contracts will also be listed for trading on the NYMEX trading floor.
A string of gasoline-producing units at major Texas refineries are currently in maintenance, including fluid catalytic crackers (FCCs) at ExxonMobil's 300,000 barrel per day (bpd) Beaumont refinery and a crude distillation unit at Total's 225,000 bpd Port Arthur refinery.The works have cut gasoline availability on the heavily-populated Atlantic Coast that is supplied from the Gulf via pipelines.Further exacerbating the problem is a shutdown at Canada's 300,000 bpd Saint John refinery, a key supplier to the New York Harbor delivery point of the RBOB
gasoline contract.The shortness has contributed to a jump in the October RBOB
gasoline contract to a near a 20 cent premium over the November contract, the highest in two years.
Traders and analysts said that Brent was also drawing strength from US RBOB
gasoline, which has been supported by very low inventories and unplanned outages that have tightened up the market.
In the wake of the sharp slide in prices this week, some traders feel that the overnight recovery in the RBOB
market may not be that surprising especially since prices at this week's lows were down by close to 25 cents a gallon from their mid September highs.
gasoline futures crashed down 18.52 cents or 6.89 percent to settle at $2.5042 a gallon, dragging the price of RBOB
gasoline below that of crude oil for the first time as US gasoline stockpiles have risen to 15-year highs.
And, as on July 12, 2013, the price driver for world crude oils on July 17, 2015, was gasoline in the US, with the RBOB
at NYMEX on July 12 closing at a high of $3.64/g.
As in the RBOB
market, heating oil prices overnight appear to be finding benefit from the positive turnaround in physical commodity market sentiment during the last 24 hours.
gasoline futures jumped 7.40 cents and heating oil rose 2.10 cents, ahead of front-month August contract expirations on Tuesday.