A Sell-Off In Equity Markets Seems To Be Outweighing Supply Concerns Again To Start The Week

Market TalkMonday, Jan 24 2022
Pivotal Week For Price Action

A sell-off in equity markets seems to be outweighing supply concerns again to start the week as energy contracts have turned from 2 cent gains overnight to 2 cent losses this morning as US equities moved deeper into the red following their worst week since the start of the pandemic.

The pen is mightier than the sword?  The selling seems to be largely driven by expectations that the FED and other central banks are ending the money printing party and will soon raise rates to combat inflation, which for the moment is outweighing concerns that armed conflict may soon disrupt the flow of global energy supplies.

The march to war in the Ukraine seems remains the biggest story with numerous threats to both lives and markets. Read here for a list of possible market impacts expected should the invasion take place. 

The IEA last week made a case that Russia’s withholding of natural gas had more to do with the price spike last year than the conversion to lower carbon fuel alternatives, and urged the world to learn a lesson from this, highlighting the growing threat from limited lithium supplies as EV’s gain market share.

Meanwhile, the existing war between Arab nations and Houthi rebels continues to add another level of concern as another missile attack on the UAE this weekend reminded the world that some of the largest oil producers are still trying to kill each other. 

Money managers continue to add to their bets on higher petroleum prices with 4 of the big 5 contracts all seeing net length held by the large speculative trade category increase again last week. Reuters’ John Kemp argues that chronically low inventories are encouraging these bets on higher prices, which suggests they may continue for some time. (see the Commitment of Traders Report table & charts below)

Baker Hughes reported a net decrease of 1 active oil rig working in the US last week, the first weekly decline since October. The EIA on Friday reported that its forecasts suggests oil and natural gas output in the US should continue to grow and reach record highs next year.

Today’s interesting read, from the WSJ: The flaws in CAFÉ standards that will continue contributing to strong fuel demand.

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

Market Talk Update 1.24.22

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkWednesday, Jul 17 2024

Energy Markets Are Trying To Find A Price Floor After Gasoline And Crude Oil Staged A Healthy Bounce To Minimize The Heavy Losses

Energy markets are trying to find a price floor after gasoline and crude oil staged a healthy bounce to minimize the heavy losses we saw early in Tuesday’s session. WTI is leading the move higher early Wednesday, up nearly $.90/barrel in the early going, while RBOB prices are up just under a penny.

Diesel continues to look like the weak link in the energy chain both technically and fundamentally. Tuesday the API reported a 4.9 million barrel build in diesel stocks, while gasoline inventories were only up 365,000 barrels, and crude oil stocks declined by more than 4.4 million barrels. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning and it’s likely we’ll see a reduction in oil output and PADD 3 refining runs thanks to shut ins ahead of Hurricane Beryl, but otherwise the storm appears to be a relative non-issue with only 1 notable refining hiccup, that wasn’t even as bad as a midwestern Thunderstorm.

Chicago basis values rallied Tuesday after reports that Exxon had shut down the 250mb/day Joliet refinery following severe storms that knocked out power to the area Sunday. RBOB differentials surged nearly 9 cents on the day, while diesel diffs jumped more than a nickel. With 3 large refineries in close proximity, the Chicago cash market is notoriously volatile if any of those facilities has an upset. Back in May there was a one-day spike in gasoline basis of more than 50 cents/gallon after Joliet had an operating upset so don’t be surprised if there are bigger swings this week if the facility doesn’t come back online quickly.

Moving in the opposite direction, California basis values are heading the opposite direction with the transition to August scheduling pressuring CARBOB differentials in LA and San Francisco to their biggest discounts to prompt RBOB futures in more than 18 months. Gasoline imports into PADD 5 have held well above average levels over the past 2 months, which has more than offset the loss of the P66 Rodeo refinery’s output after it completed its conversion to RD production, in another sign of how growing refining capacity in China and other Asian countries may become more influential to the US. California regulators may also pat themselves on the back that their new plans to force refineries to report their gross profit monthly, in addition to the rules requiring all bulk trades in the state be reported must be driving the lower gasoline differentials, assuming they figure out what a basis differential is.

Meanwhile, California’s Carbon Allowance values have tumbled to their lowest levels in a year after a CARB presentation last week suggested the agency would be delaying long-anticipated tightening of the Cap and Trade program until 2026.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkTuesday, Jul 16 2024

The Sell-Off In Energy Markets Continues, With Refined Products Reaching Their Lowest Levels In A Month Early In Tuesday’s Session

The sell-off in energy markets continues, with refined products reaching their lowest levels in a month early in Tuesday’s session. Reports of slowing growth in China, the world’s largest oil purchaser, is getting much of the credit for the slide in prices so far this week, although that doesn’t do much to explain why refined products are outpacing the drop in crude.

ULSD futures are leading the early move lower, trading down a nickel on the day, and marking a 19 cent drop since July 4th. There’s not much in the way of technical support for ULSD, so don’t be surprised if this sell-off continues to pick up steam.

With today’s slide, RBOB futures are down 17 cents from where they were trading on July 4th, and are just a couple of cents from testing their 200-day moving average. Should that support break, it looks like there’s a good chance to test the June lows around $2.29.

Physical markets are not offering any strength to the futures market with all 6 of the major cash markets for diesel across the US trading at a discount to ULSD futures, while only 1 gasoline market is trading at a premium to RBOB futures. That combination of weakness in futures and cash markets is going to be troubling for refiners who are seeing margins reduce during what is traditionally a strong time of year.

The EIA highlighted the energy trade between the US and Mexico in a report Monday, showing that despite so many claims of energy independence from Mexican officials, the actual amount of refined fuels and natural gas bought from the US continues to increase. That’s good news for many US refiners who have become more dependent on Mexican purchases to find a home for their output.

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