Choppy But Relatively Quiet Start To The Week For Energy Futures

Market TalkMonday, Dec 13 2021
Pivotal Week For Price Action

It’s been a choppy but relatively quiet start to the week for energy futures, with refined products seeing a rally attempt overnight turn into modest losses earlier this morning, only to move back to small gains around 7:30 am central. While a 4-5 cent range overnight may raise eyebrows at times, it’s actually much less volatile than we’ve been experiencing over the past two weeks, as the Omicron fears seem to have been largely removed from the market even as its spread continues

The back half of December is notorious for a lack of volume, which can create both some wild price swings if anything interesting happens, and a general lack of movement if not, as most people focus on finishing up Christmas shopping, and thinking about what might be coming in 2022, and less about what’s going on today.  

Refined products still need to add about a nickel to break the downward sloping trend on the weekly charts that started back in October. If they fail, we may see one of the strongest years ever for energy prices end on a weak note.   

No reports yet of damage to supply infrastructure in the path of the devastating tornado outbreak this weekend, although the Wood River and Robinson IL Plants were both in the vicinity.  The country’s largest refinery in Pt. Arthur Texas meanwhile was forced to shut several units Sunday due to a loss of power. The lack of price reaction to that news suggests the disruption from that downtime is minimal, or that there’s not much focus on near term fundamentals.

Money managers continued to liquidate length held in Brent, RBOB and Gasoil contracts last week, but were tip toeing back into WTI positions after the huge Black Friday liquidation.   There was a large amount of short covering in refined product contracts last week, suggesting those that had been betting on a big price drop were content to take their winnings and move on after prices reached 3 month lows to start December. 

Baker Hughes reported a net increase of 4 oil rigs drilling in the US last week, marking a 5th straight week of increases. The Permian basin accounted for 3 of those rigs, with gains split between Texas and New Mexico.  Year on year the total US rig count is up 213 total rigs, but still 214 below this time in 2019.  

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

Market Talk Update 12.13.21

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkFriday, Sep 29 2023

The Energy Bulls Are On The Run This Morning, Lead By Heating And Crude Oil Futures

The energy bulls are on the run this morning, lead by heating and crude oil futures. The November HO contract is trading ~7.5 cents per gallon (2.3%) higher while WTI is bumped $1.24 per barrel (1.3%) so far in pre-market trading. Their gasoline counterpart is rallying in sympathy with .3% gains to start the day.

The October contracts for both RBOB and HO expire today, and while trading action looks to be pretty tame so far, it isn’t a rare occurrence to see some big price swings on expiring contracts as traders look to close their positions. It should be noted that the only physical market pricing still pricing their product off of October futures, while the rest of the nation already switched to the November contract over the last week or so.

We’ve now got two named storms in the Atlantic, Philippe and Rina, but both aren’t expected to develop into major storms. While most models show both storms staying out to sea, the European model for weather forecasting shows there is a possibility that Philippe gets close enough to the Northeast to bring rain to the area, but not much else.

The term “$100 oil” is starting to pop up in headlines more and more mostly because WTI settled above the $90 level back on Tuesday, but partially because it’s a nice round number that’s easy to yell in debates or hear about from your father-in-law on the golf course. While the prospect of sustained high energy prices could be harmful to the economy, its important to note that the current short supply environment is voluntary. The spigot could be turned back on at any point, which could topple oil prices in short order.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkThursday, Sep 28 2023

Gasoline And Crude Oil Futures Are All Trading Between .5% And .8% Lower To Start The Day

The energy complex is sagging this morning with the exception of the distillate benchmark as the prompt month trading higher by about a penny. Gasoline and crude oil futures are all trading between .5% and .8% lower to start the day, pulling back after WTI traded above $95 briefly in the overnight session.

There isn’t much in the way of news this morning with most still citing the expectation for tight global supply, inflation and interest rates, and production cuts by OPEC+.

As reported by the Department of Energy yesterday, refinery runs dropped in all PADDs, except for PADD 3, as we plug along into the fall turnaround season. Crude oil inventories drew down last week, despite lower runs and exports, and increased imports, likely due to the crude oil “adjustment” the EIA uses to reconcile any missing barrels from their calculated estimates.

Diesel remains tight in the US, particularly in PADD 5 (West Coast + Nevada, Arizona) but stockpiles are climbing back towards their 5-year seasonal range. It unsurprising to see a spike in ULSD imports to the region since both Los Angeles and San Francisco spot markets are trading at 50+ cent premiums to the NYMEX. We’ve yet to see such relief on the gasoline side of the barrel, and we likely won’t until the market switches to a higher RVP.

Click here to download a PDF of today's TACenergy Market Talk, including all charts from the Weekly DOE Report.

Pivotal Week For Price Action