HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here is Thursday's midday ?xml:namespace>
CRUDE: Apr WTI: $100.83/bbl, down 62 cents; Apr Brent: $107.92/bbl, up 16 cents
NYMEX WTI crude futures worked cautiously lower and Brent posted light gains while markets kept an eye on the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine after the Crimean parliament voted to join the Russian Federation. The build in crude stocks revealed by Wednesday’s Energy Information Administration's (EIA) supply statistics also pressured prices. Crude oil demand is expected to decline as US refiners engage in spring maintenance. WTI bottomed out at $100.56/bbl before rebounding.
RBOB: $2.9422/gal, up 0.19 cents
Reformulated blendstock for oxygen blending (RBOB) gasoline futures were basically steady in early trading, drawing some strength from the looming refinery maintenance and turnaround season.
NATURAL GAS: Apr $4.653/MMBtu, up 13 cents
Upcoming cold temperatures in the weather outlook were boosting natural gas futures, as the pattern of volatility continued to emerge. While incoming supplies are expected with the resumption of the spring production season, colder than normal temperatures have kept a bullish support on pricing.
ETHANE: lower at 31.50 cents/gal
Ethane spot prices weakened on soft demand stemming from a cracker shutdown.
OLEFINS: ethylene steady at 51.25 cents/lb, PGP steady at 68.5-72.5 cents/lb
US March ethylene was steady at 51.25 cents/lb based on the most recent reported trade despite tightening in the market. US March polymer-grade propylene (PGP) bid/offer levels were steady at 68.5-72.5 cents/lb compared with levels heard a day ago.
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