Refined Products Are Seeing A wave Of Selling This Morning As Another Volatile Week Winds Down

Market TalkFriday, Mar 18 2022
Pivotal Week For Price Action

After a huge Thursday rally, and a strong overnight session, refined products are seeing a wave of selling this morning as another volatile week winds down. The trading ranges already today are around 12 cents for both gasoline and diesel contracts, which would have been eye catching a few weeks ago, and now seems pedestrian in comparison to the March Madness we’ve experienced so far.

Speaking of which, ULSD futures rallied 38 cents yesterday, which would have set a daily record before March, and now it barely warrants a mention after 2 weeks where 30 cents moves became the norm. 

The back and forth action this week seems to boil down to two issues: There is still no good answer to dealing with a shortage of Russian commodity supplies in the near term, while global demand may be setting up for a steep fall

The IEA released a 10 point plan to reduce oil demand and avoid a global energy crisis that looks like it was a fun project for a class in middle school. In short, they’re encouraging everyone to go nowhere slowly. 

Unfortunately, it looks like Europe and China have their own plans for reducing energy consumption known as the BA.2 COVID wave is forcing new restrictions, and there are early indicators that the latest wave is already spreading in the US.   

Net 56? Despite so many Net-Zero by 2050 pledges, the EIA is projecting that renewables will make up just 44% of US Electricity supply in 2050. The report estimates fossil fuels will drop from around 60% today to 44% in 28 years. 

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

Market Talk Update 3.18.22

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkThursday, Feb 29 2024

It's Another Mixed Start For Energy Futures This Morning After Refined Products Saw Some Heavy Selling Wednesday

It's another mixed start for energy futures this morning after refined products saw some heavy selling Wednesday. Both gasoline and diesel prices dropped 7.5-8.5 cents yesterday despite a rather mundane inventory report. The larger-than-expected build in crude oil inventories (+4.2 million barrels) was the only headline value of note, netting WTI futures a paltry 6-cent per barrel gain on the day.

The energy markets seem to be holding their breath for this morning’s release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The price index is the Fed’s preferred inflation monitor and has the potential to impact how the central bank moves forward with interest rates.

Nationwide refinery runs are still below their 5-year average with utilization across all PADDs well below 90%. While PADD 3 production crossed its 5-year average, it’s important to note that measure includes the “Snovid” shutdown of 2021 and throughput is still below the previous two years with utilization at 81%.

We will have to wait until next week to see if the FCC and SRU shutdowns at Flint Hills’ Corpus Christi refinery will have a material impact on the regions refining totals. Detail on the filing can be found on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website.

Update: the PCE data shows a decrease in US inflation to 2.4%, increasing the likelihood of a rate cut later this year. Energy futures continue drifting, unfazed.

Click here to download a PDF of today's TACenergy Market Talk, including all charts from the Weekly DOE Report.

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkWednesday, Feb 28 2024

It’s Red Across The Board For Energy Prices So Far This Morning With The ‘Big Three’ Contracts All Trading Lower To Start The Day

It’s red across the board for energy prices so far this morning with the ‘big three’ contracts (RBOB, HO, WTI) all trading lower to start the day. Headlines are pointing to the rise in crude oil inventories as the reason for this morning’s pullback, but refined product futures are leading the way lower, each trading down 1% so far, while the crude oil benchmark is only down around .3%.

The American Petroleum Institute published their national inventory figures yesterday afternoon, estimating an 8+ million-barrel build in crude oil inventory across the country. Gasoline and diesel stocks are estimated to have dropped by 3.2 and .5 million barrels last week, respectively. The official report from the Department of Energy is due out at its regular time this morning (9:30 CST).

OPEC’n’friends are rumored to be considering extending their voluntary production cuts into Q2 of this year in an effort to buoy market prices. These output reductions, reaching back to late 2022, are aimed at paring back global supply by about 2.2 million barrels per day and maintaining a price floor. On the flip side, knowledge of the suspended-yet-available production capacity and record US output is keeping a lid on prices.

How long can they keep it up? While the cartel’s de facto leader (Saudi Arabia) may be financially robust enough to sustain itself through reduced output indefinitely, that isn’t the case for other member countries. Late last year Angola announced it will be leaving OPEC, freeing itself to produce and market its oil as it wishes. This marks the fourth membership suspension over the past decade (Indonesia 2016, Qatar 2019, Ecuador 2020).

The spot price for Henry Hub natural gas hit a record low, exchanging hands for an average of $1.50 per MMBtu yesterday. A rise in production over the course of 2023 and above average temperatures this winter have pressured the benchmark to a price not seen in its 27-year history, much to Russia’s chagrin.

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