Energy And Equity Markets In The US Are Taking Back Most Of Friday’s Heavy Losses

Market TalkTuesday, Jun 21 2022
Pivotal Week For Price Action

Energy and Equity markets in the US are taking back most of Friday’s heavy losses as buyers search for a floor after a week of heavy selling. The rally puts the risk of a technical breakdown in energy futures on hold for the time being, although many are warning that this rally in equities is nothing more than a dead cat bounce.

Gasoline prices were up 15 cents this morning, rendering the President’s potential plan to push a Federal Gasoline Tax holiday (which would save 18.4 cents a gallon) pretty much meaningless.

Other political possibilities to deal with the impossible supply puzzle include a ban on some refined product exports, and waiving some summertime anti-smog rules to allow more fuel to be produced. The export ban seems particularly challenging given the previous promises to support European countries in their attempt to wean themselves from Russian energy supplies.

Speaking of which, a note this morning is a good reminder that we haven’t seen the worst of the Russian oil supply decrease as the bans by European countries are just about to start, and the latest Russian warnings to Lithuania suggest the fallout from this war still may get worse before it gets better. 

While much has been made of the lack of refining capacity in the US, South America and Europe lately, a Bloomberg article today highlights the large amount of idle capacity in China as the country tightly controls the industry, and even perhaps may use the energy sword like Russia has to strengthen its position in any number of standoffs with the US.

The Dallas FED’s Texas Employment Forecast highlighted another strong month of job growth in the state in May, but also flashes signals of a slowdown ahead with its leading indicators dropping for a 2nd straight month.  (Charts Below)

Reminder that since there were no settlements for RBOB and ULSD futures Monday (and spot markets weren’t assessed) today’s price movements are from Friday’s settlement levels.

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Market Talk Update 6.21.2022

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkWednesday, Jun 7 2023

Energy Prices Fluctuate: Chinese Imports Surge, Saudi Arabia Cuts Output and Buys Golf

Energy prices continue their back-and-forth trading, starting Wednesday’s session with modest gains, after a round of selling Tuesday wiped out the Saudi output cut bounce. 

A surge in China’s imports of crude oil and natural gas seem to be the catalyst for the early move higher, even though weak export activity from the world’s largest fuel buyer suggests the global economy is still struggling. 

New tactic?  Saudi Arabia’s plan to voluntarily cut oil production by another 1 million barrels/day failed to sustain a rally in oil prices to start the week, so they bought the PGA tour

The EIA’s monthly Short Term Energy Outlook raised its price forecast for oil, citing the Saudi cuts, and OPEC’s commitment to extend current production restrictions through 2024. The increase in prices comes despite reducing the forecast for US fuel consumption, as GDP growth projections continue to decline from previous estimates. 

The report included a special article on diesel consumption, and its changing relationship with economic activity that does a good job of explaining why diesel prices are $2/gallon cheaper today than they were a year ago.   

The API reported healthy builds in refined product inventories last week, with distillates up 4.5 million barrels while gasoline stocks were up 2.4 million barrels in the wake of Memorial Day. Crude inventories declined by 1.7 million barrels on the week. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning. 

We’re still waiting on the EPA’s final ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard for the next few years, which is due a week from today, but another Reuters article suggests that eRINs will not be included in this round of making up the rules.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkTuesday, Jun 6 2023

Energy Prices Retreat, Global Demand Concerns Loom

So much for that rally. Energy prices have given back all of the gains made following Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it would voluntarily withhold another 1 million barrels/day of oil production starting in July. The pullback appears to be rooted in the ongoing concerns over global demand after a soft PMI report for May while markets start to focus on what the FED will do at its FOMC meeting next week.

The lack of follow through to the upside leaves petroleum futures stuck in neutral technical territory, and since the top end of the recent trading range didn’t break, it seems likely we could see another test of the lower end of the range in the near future.  

RIN prices have dropped sharply in the past few sessions, with traders apparently not waiting on the EPA’s final RFS ruling – due in a week – to liquidate positions. D6 values dropped to their lowest levels in a year Monday, while D4 values hit a 15-month low. In unrelated news, the DOE’s attempt to turn seaweed into biofuels has run into a whale problem.  

Valero reported a process leak at its Three Rivers TX refinery that lasted a fully 24 hours.  That’s the latest in a string of upsets for south Texas refineries over the past month that have kept supplies from San Antonio, Austin and DFW tighter than normal. Citgo Corpus Christi also reported an upset over the weekend at a sulfur recovery unit. Several Corpus facilities have been reporting issues since widespread power outages knocked all of the local plants offline last month.  

Meanwhile, the Marathon Galveston Bay (FKA Texas City) refinery had another issue over the weekend as an oil movement line was found to be leaking underground but does not appear to have impacted refining operations at the facility. Gulf Coast traders don’t seem concerned by any of the latest refinery issues, with basis values holding steady to start the week.

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