US Spot NGLs End Mixed Thursday while Oil Futures Slide
10/12 4:41 PM
US Spot NGLs End Mixed Thursday while Oil Futures Slide HOUSTON (DTN) -- U.S. spot propane prices finished lower and other NGLs ended shallowly mixed in thin overall trade at the major supply hubs Thursday while New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures retreated. At settlement, NYMEX November West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were down 70cts at $50.60 bbl and the nearby RBOB futures contract was 2.60cts lower at $1.5832 gallon. The Energy Information Administration midmorning reported U.S. propane/propylene inventories increased about 900,000 bbl during the week-ended Oct. 6, which compared with market expectations for a 50,000 bbl stock draw. Compared to the same time in 2016, total U.S. propane/propylene supplies were down 25.0 million bbl or 24.1%. EnVantage Inc. natural gas liquids analyst Peter Fasullo noted that propane stocks built by about 1.2 million bbl during the week ended Oct. 6 as propylene stocks dropped 300,000 bbl. "The 1.2 million bbl build in propane inventories was a little surprising, but after draws in the previous three weeks of 1.2 million bbl, 2.4 million bbl and 600,000 bbl, over the last four weeks we had an average draw of about 700,000 bbl," Fasullo said. "To put things into perspective, at this time of year we've never had a four-week average draw that large. Exports are the gorilla in the room here," he said. EIA data showed U.S. propane/propylene exports in the week ended-ended Oct. 6 at 868,000 bpd, down from 998,000 bpd in the week prior. Four-week average exports were at 992,000 bpd, up from 801,000 bpd in the same period last year. Agency data showed U.S. crude oil supplies, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 2.7 million bbl during the week at 465.0 million bbl. The American Petroleum Institute Wednesday reported a 3.1 million bbl stock build for the week. Total domestic motor gasoline inventories rose 2.5 million bbl in the week-ended Oct. 6 to 218.9 million bbl while API showed a 1.58 million bbl stock draw. Spot propane traded moderately on the Intercontinental Exchange Wednesday with 135,000 bbl transacted at the LST hub and 70,000 bbl at the Enterprise hub while 30,000 bbl changed hands at the Conway hub. At Mont Belvieu, LST spot propane was last done early afternoon at 93.5cts gallon, down 1.5cts, and Enterprise spot propane last traded late morning at 93.125cts gallon, down 1.375cts. Enterprise spot propane was valued late session at 77.3% of the nearby WTI futures contract, almost unchanged from market close Wednesday. Targa spot propane didn't trade on ICE Thursday. Conway spot propane changed hands late session at 89.75cts gallon, down 1.0cts gallon. A source in the Upper Midwest said there's a growing probability of significant crop drying demand in Minnesota and northern Iowa. "Recent rain and forecasts for more in the next few days plus a freeze two nights ago has meant farmers can't get into the fields for the next 7-14 days, but after that they're going to harvesting with a vengeance," he said. "And in some areas the crops are pretty wet. It's going to be interesting in November," he said. In other U.S. NGLs spot markets, Mt. Belvieu non-LST normal finished 0.125cts lower Thursday at 106.375cts gallon while Conway normal butane was seen at 106.0cts gallon, up 0.25cts. Mt. Belvieu non-LST isobutane traded 0.25cts higher at 105.75cts gallon and Conway isobutane was done flat at 109.0cts gallon. Mt. Belvieu non-LST natural gasoline slid 1.375cts at 120.75cts gallon as its premium to LST natural gasoline held steady at 0.5cts. Conway natural gasoline was valued late session at 116.875cts gallon, down 0.875cts. Mt. Belvieu e/p mix was assessed at 26.0cts gallon, up 0.125cts, and Conway e/p mix was seen 0.5cts lower at 18.5cts gallon. Gulf Coast purity ethane finished 0.125cts higher at 26.5cts gallon. In related markets, NYMEX November natural gas futures rallied 10.0cts Thursday to settle at $2.989 MMBtu. EIA midmorning reported natural gas held in U.S. storage increased 87 Bcf in the week-ended Oct. 6. At 3,595 Bcf, gas held in domestic storage was down about 153 Bcf or 4.1% from the same time in 2016 and 8 Bcf or 0.2% below the five-year average of 3,603 Bcf, according to EIA data. Alton Wallace, 1.832.646.9229,, (c) 2017 DTN. All rights reserved.