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Diesel Prices Up 60 Cents Since Bottoming Out 2 Weeks Ago As ULSD Futures Try To Drag Energy Complex Higher

Monday, Aug 22 2022
Market Talk

Diesel prices are up 60 cents since bottoming out 2 weeks ago, as ULSD futures are trying to drag the energy complex higher to start Monday’s session.  A test of $3.80, which twice marked a temporary price top in July, looks like it could be pivotal this week, with a break above that level opening the door for a run to $4.20 as we head into fall.

So far oil markets are not reacting much to news of the latest suspicious shutdown at the CPC export facilities that transport around 1 million barrels/day of crude from Kazakhstan through Russia to markets around the world.   Instead, it seems like an early slide in crude oil is being blamed on the renewed chances of a deal with Iran that could bring another 1-2 million barrels/day back onto the world market in 6 months or less if negotiations actually go somewhere this time.

Money managers were acting bullish on refined products, and bearish on crude oil last week, with the large speculative category of traders making big additions to bets on higher prices in Gasoil and gasoline contracts, while WTI and Brent saw their net length decrease by 8% or more.  RBOB, ULSD and Brent all saw notable increases in open interest last week, but levels remain near 5-7 year lows as funds continue to largely stay on the sidelines.

The storm system moving over the Gulf of Mexico the past few days failed to develop as it moved towards the coast.  The NHC is tracking another system moving across the Atlantic this week, although it is given just 20% odds of developing so far.

Baker Hughes reported no change in the count of total US oil rigs drilling last week, while the natural gas rig count dropped by 1.   The past 4 weeks have seen a stall in the slow but steady increase in drilling activity and may mean we don’t see rig counts reach pre-pandemic levels by year-end unless they start to pick up soon.

Snakebit:  The refinery FKA Hovensa and FKA Limetree Bay best known for losing billions of dollars last year in a failed bid to restart operations caught fire again over the weekend, even though the facility remains largely shuttered.  Speaking of snakebit refineries; Pemex officials have requested another $6.5 billion to finish the Dos Bocas plant that is now on pace to be almost double the original budget, if it’s completed at all, despite already having a grand opening party.

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