Downside Pressure On The Petroleum Complex

Market TalkWednesday, Aug 19 2020
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Yet another rally in energy futures has failed to sustain itself as prices start Wednesday’s session in the red, leaving prices stuck back in their sideways pattern, even as the S&P 500 rallies to new all-time highs this week. 

The API was said to report a build in gasoline stocks last week of nearly five million barrels, which seemed to put immediate downside pressure on the entire petroleum complex that carried through the overnight session, even though crude and diesel stocks were estimated to have draws on the week of 4.3 and one million barrels, respectively. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning. 

As mentioned yesterday, both WTI and RBOB futures were looking toppy as they failed to break through the top end of their summer ranges, leaving them susceptible to a larger round of selling that could test the $40 mark for WTI and $1.16 for RBOB in short order.

OPEC & Friends are meeting today, but there’s a lack of chatter on new output quotas, with reports that the Saudi’s are more concerned with the cheaters in the group than making a new deal.

Colonial pipeline is still working to repair and re-open its main gasoline line that’s been shut for almost five days following a leak. While no specific timeline has been given, pipeline schedules and muted price action for both physical and futures contracts suggests they remain on track for reopening in the next few days. Allocations in markets north of the leak remain restricted as suppliers protect their contract accounts, but physical outages are not yet being reported. 

RINs continued to rally Tuesday, pushing D4 RINs to a 2.5 year high, after the President promised to talk to the EPA about small refinery exemptions during a trip to Iowa to survey the extensive fallout of last week’s derecho. The storms have damaged nearly half of the state’s crop, and sent ethanol prices rallying along with corn and soybean prices. 

Speaking of storms, the NHC still favors two new names storms developing in the Atlantic basin over the next five days, both of which still have some potential to threaten the U.S. Coasts. The first system in line could potentially be a gulf coast threat if it can get past the Yucatan peninsula, and the second looks like it could be heading towards Florida next week. The names of these storms will depend on which develops first. There’s a third potential system coming right behind these two, and as we near the peak of this record-setting season, it’s likely we’ll see new potential systems 1-2 times per week as tropical waves move off the west coast of Africa.

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

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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