Late Rally Pushes Prices Into The Green
After a late rally that pushed prices into the green after trading lower most of the session, energy futures are coming under pressure once again after more inventory builds check the optimism for economic recovery. The price action in the back half of the week looks to be pivotal from a technical perspective, as the recent selling has contracts testing their upward sloping trend lines,. Whether or not that support holds up may mean the difference in another large rally or a substantial correction lower.
The API was said to report another large build in U.S. oil stocks of more than eight million barrels last week, while distillates had another build of 4.3 million barrels, and gasoline stocks declined by 2.3 million barrels. The increase in crude oil was almost all in PADD 3 – likely driven by the spike in Saudi imports offloading along the gulf coast – while Cushing, OK inventories had another large decline of more than two million barrels. If the API estimates carry over to today’s DOE report, we will see U.S.diesel inventories reach an all-time high.
The EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook painted a more optimistic outlook for the industry, which seemed to encourage Tuesday’s late bounce, suggesting the glut of global fuel inventories would start being reduced this month as demand recovery has been better than previous forecasts. The report also highlighted the stark difference in gasoline and diesel cracks during this recovery – consistent with what the weekly inventory reports have been showing - which could limit refiner’s ability to recover from this crisis.
The FOMC will make a policy statement this afternoon, and will release its economic forecast and host a virtual press conference. While most predictions suggest there will be no new policy announcements today, watch for language about Yield Curve Control, to become more commonplace in coming weeks.
Speaking of forward curves…the charts below show how quickly the energy forward curves have moved away from the super contango witnessed in the past couple of months, which should help encourage some barrels to be pulled from storage as long as the slow and steady demand recovery continues. Distillates still seem the most susceptible to pressure on the curve as the demand recovery hasn’t kept pace with the rapid increase in inventories and tankage is becoming scarce.
Notes from the STEO:
EIA now expects global oil inventories will begin declining in June, a month earlier than previously forecast, with draws continuing through the end of 2021. The sooner-than-expected draws are the result of sharper declines in global oil production during June and higher global oil demand than previously expected.
Declines in U.S. liquid fuels consumption vary across products. EIA expects jet fuel consumption to fall by 64 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, while gasoline consumption falls by 26 percent and distillate consumption falls by 17 percent. EIA forecasts the consumption of all three fuels to rise in the third quarter and into 2021 but to remain lower than 2019 levels.
After decreasing by 2.8 percent in 2019, EIA forecasts that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decrease by 14 percent (714 million metric tons) in 2020.