Energy Futures In Recovery Rally Mode

Market TalkThursday, Nov 29 2018
DOE Week 48 - 2018 Report

Energy futures are in recovery rally mode this morning after reaching fresh lows for 2018 overnight. It’s easy to blame yesterday’s DOE report on the sell-off that saw WTI drop below the $50 mark for the first time in almost 14 months, but there’s not (yet) a clear reason for the bounce this morning.

One key non-oil story to watch: US Stocks had a huge rally Wednesday after the FED Chair suggested that interest rate increases may end sooner than previously indicated. While Energy and Equity prices have gone their own way most of the past month, a bit of optimism may be exactly what is needed to end the selling in petroleum products.

US crude oil inventories increased for a 10th consecutive week, and will surpass year-ago levels for the first time in 2018 if that streak reaches 11. US oil production held steady at its all-time high of 11.7 million barrels/day for a 3rd week, a casual 2 million barrels/day higher than this time last year. For perspective, that 2 million barrels/day alone would make the US one of the world’s top 15 oil producing countries.

Diesel prices took a relatively unfamiliar role of leading the complex lower after outperforming for most of the past year. Look no further than a sharp increase in US Diesel output combined with a collapse in the weekly demand estimate from the DOE to understand why.

Refinery runs surged nearly 700,000 barrels/day last week as plants made the turn from fall maintenance and have resumed their record-setting pace of production.

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Market TalkWednesday, Nov 29 2023

The API Reported Gasoline Inventories Dropped By 898,000 Barrels Last Week

Gasoline and oil prices are attempting to rally for a 2nd straight day, a day ahead of the delayed OPEC meeting, while diesel prices are slipping back into the red following Tuesday’s strong showing. 

The API reported gasoline inventories dropped by 898,000 barrels last week, crude inventories declined by 817,000 barrels while distillates saw an increase of 2.8 million barrels. Those inventory stats help explain the early increases for RBOB and WTI while ULSD is trading lower. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning. 

A severe storm on the Black Sea is disrupting roughly 2% of the world’s daily oil output and is getting some credit for the bounce in futures, although early reports suggest that this will be a short-lived event. 

Chevron reported that its Richmond CA refinery was back online after a power outage Monday night. San Francisco spot diesel basis values rallied more than a dime Tuesday after a big drop on Monday following the news of that refinery being knocked offline.

Just a few days after Scotland’s only refinery announced it would close in 2025, Exxon touted its newest refinery expansion project in the UK Tuesday, with a video detailing how it was ramping up diesel production to reduce imports and possibly allow for SAF production down the road at its Fawley facility. 

Ethanol prices continue to slump this week, reaching a 2-year low despite the bounce in gasoline prices as corn values dropped to a 3-year low, and the White House appears to be delaying efforts to shift to E15 in an election year. 

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkTuesday, Nov 28 2023

Values For Space On Colonial’s Main Gasoline Line Continue To Drop This Week

The petroleum complex continues to search for a price floor with relatively quiet price action this week suggesting some traders are going to wait and see what OPEC and Friends can decide on at their meeting Thursday. 

Values for space on Colonial’s main gasoline line continue to drop this week, with trades below 10 cents/gallon after reaching a high north of 18-cents earlier in the month. Softer gasoline prices in New York seems to be driving the slide as the 2 regional refiners who had been down for extended maintenance both return to service. Diesel linespace values continue to hold north of 17-cents/gallon as East Coast stocks are holding at the low end of their seasonal range while Gulf Coast inventories are holding at average levels.

Reversal coming?  Yesterday we saw basis values for San Francisco spot diesel plummet to the lowest levels of the year, but then overnight the Chevron refinery in Richmond was forced to shut several units due to a power outage which could cause those differentials to quickly find a bid if the supplier is forced to become a buyer to replace that output.

Money managers continued to reduce the net length held in crude oil contracts, with both Brent and WTI seeing long liquidation and new short positions added last week. Perhaps most notable from the weekly COT report data is that funds are continuing their counter-seasonal bets on higher gasoline prices. The net length held by large speculators for RBOB is now at its highest level since Labor Day, at a time of year when prices tend to drop due to seasonal demand weakness. 

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