Prices Off To A Mixed Start
Prices are off to a mixed start today after catching a breather and posting light losses yesterday. Heating oil, American and European crude benchmarks are showing light losses early this morning while RBOB futures are fighting to stay positive.
It seems now that energy futures have priced in all conceivable precipitations resulting from the increased tensions between the US and Iran and that bullish pressure has helped ward demand worries. Decreased manufacturing data published by the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve yesterday cites the tariff spat with China as the chief cause of demand concerns.
Aside from what could be accurately describe as the US vs World saga, there was still a refinery explosion last week. Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ 335mb per day refinery, one of the largest of its kind in the region, caught fire in a series of dramatic explosions early Friday morning. The fire, originating from a leak in the complex’s alkylation unit, has been controlled and contained but repair time estimates remain elusive. Aside from the massive fireball and pollution concerns, this latest setback is bringing the refinery owner’s looming insolvency back into question.
July 4th is coming up next week, a popular driving holiday, exacerbating supply worries in the Northeast. While it seems most attention is focused on short term price increases at the pump, traders’ concerns lie more with what the unexpected supply disruption will do to gasoline stocks in the area. We will get our first look at PADD 1 inventory levels this afternoon when the API publishes its estimates, and again tomorrow morning via the EIA’s weekly report. However, the full weight of the downtime won’t likely be seen until the following week.