Energy Supply Crisis In Europe Spreads
Diesel prices are pushing to fresh 3 year highs, and Brent crude is making a run at the $80 mark as an energy supply shortage is spreading across parts of the world. RBOB and WTI prices are lagging behind, but still pushing solid gains to start the week.
Today’s price action seems to reflect that the Energy supply crisis in Europe is spreading, and forcing a severe dose of reality onto those with net-zero ambitions. As we’ve witnessed numerous times following supply disruptions in the US (whether that’s fuel, or toilet paper) panic buying is making the situation even worse, and causing many stations to run dry across the UK. It’s not just Europe that’s having problems, power shortages across China are promising to increase challenges for other supply chains that have been hampering global trade for the past year.
Feast or famine: As parts of the world are struggling with a lack of natural gas, producing nations are still struggling with how to limit the excess gas that has to be burned off in flares. See this financial times video on the work being done to improve that process.
Hurricane Sam blew up into a Category 4 storm with sustained winds near 150 miles per hour over the weekend, but its track has shifted favorably and it appears that it will spare most Caribbean islands and the US East Coast. There is still a chance the storm could hit the Canadian coast as it travels north, but in terms of fuel supply disruptions this storm should be a non-event.
The National Hurricane Center is tracking 3 other storm systems, 2 of which are given 80% odds of developing, and are in a position that gives them a chance at heading for either the Gulf or East coasts next week.
Not coincidentally, as diesel prices have reached 3 year highs, the bets placed on higher diesel prices by large speculators has also reached their highest levels since 2018. The money manager trade category is less enthusiastic about RBOB and WTI contracts however, reducing their net length in both last week.
Baker Hughes reported 10 more oil rigs were put to work last week, the 2nd straight week of double digit increases. For months we’ve read stories about how US Producers were being more conservative as prices rose, and now we’ll see if that’s really true as an industry built by “WildCatters” is once again enjoying a very profitable market.