Energy Futures Are Trying Another Rally To Wrap Up The Pre-Holiday Trading Week

Market TalkFriday, Dec 23 2022
Pivotal Week For Price Action

Energy futures are trying another rally to wrap up the pre-holiday trading week after stalling out in Thursday’s session.  ULSD is leading the charge once again, up 9 cents in the early going, while WTI is pushing $2 gains and making an attempt to get back to $80, and RBOB is lagging up just 5 cents so far.

Another big sell-off in equity markets knocked the wind out of the energy price rally yesterday, although products did recover most of their losses as stocks staged a strong afternoon bounce to end well off their lows.  Even though equity and energy prices haven’t had a strong correlation lately, it was clear from the timing of the swings that stocks were leading the move in both asset classes yesterday, particularly with not much else available to influence trading this week.

So far there’s been at least 1 refining casualty from the winter storm, as the Suncor facility outside Denver was knocked offline following a record setting drop in temperatures earlier this week.   So far that’s the only confirmed outage at a refinery, but it seems inevitable that there will be more.  There are numerous reports across the south of pipelines and terminals having to slow operations due to the cold hitting areas that just aren’t used to or prepared for it.  While the predictions of single digits reaching the Gulf Coast have sparked some all-too-familiar panic buying, the natural gas and heating oil markets are largely shrugging off the storm however as the cold isn’t expected to last very long, and much warmer temperatures are forecast for next week. 

While the slide in fuel prices in the back half of the year has brought some much-needed relief to inflation-weary consumers, a Bloomberg article this week highlighted the combination of challenges that have caused more than $100 Billion to vacate the commodity arena, and forced some companies out of business.

Meanwhile, this WSJ article offers a good reminder that much of the trading is not done by people anymore, and the hedge fund algorithms that drive oil prices aren’t having as much fun as prices drop.    

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

Market Talk Update 12.23.2022

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkMonday, Oct 2 2023

Gasoline Futures Are Leading The Energy Complex Higher This Morning With 1.5% Gains So Far In Pre-Market Trading

Gasoline futures are leading the energy complex higher this morning with 1.5% gains so far in pre-market trading. Heating oil futures are following close behind, exchanging hands 4.5 cents higher than Friday’s settlement (↑1.3%) while American and European crude oil futures trade modestly higher in sympathy.

The world’s largest oil cartel is scheduled to meet this Wednesday but is unlikely they will alter their supply cuts regimen. The months-long rally in oil prices, however, has some thinking Saudi Arabia might being to ease their incremental, voluntary supply cuts.

Tropical storm Rina has dissolved over the weekend, leaving the relatively tenured Philippe the sole point of focus in the Atlantic storm basin. While he is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by the end of this week, most projections keep Philippe out to sea, with a non-zero percent chance he makes landfall in Nova Scotia or Maine.

Unsurprisingly the CFTC reported a 6.8% increase in money manager net positions in WTI futures last week as speculative bettors piled on their bullish bets. While $100 oil is being shoutedfromeveryrooftop, we’ve yet to see that conviction on the charts: open interest on WTI futures is far below that of the last ~7 years.

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

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.