MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices decline after late April rally

The New York Mercantile Exchange June crude oil contract dropped 48¢ on May 1 to $59.15/bbl, retreating from a 2015 high set on Apr. 30. Analysts attributed the slip to a strengthening dollar.

Oil trades in US dollars, and the dollar rose against other currencies May 1, making oil more expensive to buyers using other currencies. The July contract for NYMEX oil declined 35¢ to settle at $60.36/bbl on May 1.

First-quarter Chinese implied oil demand increased 7.7% compared with the same period last year, Barclays Research analysts said, adding they believe it’s unlikely the remaining quarters will mirror the first-quarter statistics.

“Chinese crude import data over the second quarter are unlikely to be strong, given refinery maintenance and the reduced incentives to store due to the recovery in oil prices and flattening of the curves,” Barclays said in a May 4 research note.

The natural gas contract for June was up 2.5¢ to close Apr. 30 at $2.77/MMbtu. Barclays Research analysts believe NYMEX gas prices are likely to resume a downward shift during the second quarter, averaging $2.45/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was $2.67/MMbtu, up 10¢.

Heating oil for June was up less than a penny to remain at a rounded $1.98/gal on Apr. 30. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for June edged up a fraction of a penny to remain at a rounded $2.05/gal.

The June ICE contract for Brent crude declined 32¢ to $66.46/bbl, while the July contract dropped 22¢ to $67.23/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for May gained 50¢ to $599.75/tonne.

The average price for the OPEC’s basket of 12 benchmark crudes for May 1 was $62.18, down 3¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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