Reversal Thursday In Effect For Energy Futures

Market TalkThursday, Apr 11 2019
Bulls Have Taken Back Control Of Energy Markets

Reversal Thursday is in effect for energy futures as prices pulled back overnight after a strong Wednesday showing that saw gasoline prices surge another 7 cents/gallon, and most other contracts reach fresh 5 month highs. There’s a bit of a tug-of-war going on between the energy reports this week with yesterday’s OPEC & DOE reports showing bullish inventory figures, while today’s IEA report is more bearish on demand. While today’s pullback was probably overdue given the recent price run-up, we’ll need to see the losses double if the upward trend is to be broken.

Lost in the noise of yesterday’s price rally: US refinery capacity increased by 158mb/day last week according to the DOE’s estimates, the equivalent of adding a new average-sized refinery. That change is likely due to new projects completed to increase rates during the spring turnaround season, and brings the total US refining capacity to a new all-time high north of 18.7 million barrels/day.

This week marked the first time US gasoline stocks fell below their seasonal 5-year average since the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a truly remarkable change from the all-time high levels we saw less than 3 months ago.

The OPEC monthly report showed a decline of more than 500mb/day of production from the cartel as Saudi Arabia (down 324mb/day for March) continued its intentional cuts, while Venezuela (down 289) continued unintentionally reducing its output. It’s worth pointing out that Libya’s production did surge by almost 200mb/day in March, but that output is now at risk as their latest version of a civil war is taking place in April.

The IEA’s monthly oil market report showed similar declines in supply, but also gave warning on the demand side of the equation, noting that OECD oil demand fell for the past 2 quarters, primarily due to weak consumption in Europe and suggesting that the higher price environment may act as a headwind to future growth. The IEA’s report also noted a sharp drop in global refinery runs in March, largely due to the numerous unplanned outages in the US, on top of a busy turnaround season.

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkMonday, Oct 2 2023

Gasoline Futures Are Leading The Energy Complex Higher This Morning With 1.5% Gains So Far In Pre-Market Trading

Gasoline futures are leading the energy complex higher this morning with 1.5% gains so far in pre-market trading. Heating oil futures are following close behind, exchanging hands 4.5 cents higher than Friday’s settlement (↑1.3%) while American and European crude oil futures trade modestly higher in sympathy.

The world’s largest oil cartel is scheduled to meet this Wednesday but is unlikely they will alter their supply cuts regimen. The months-long rally in oil prices, however, has some thinking Saudi Arabia might being to ease their incremental, voluntary supply cuts.

Tropical storm Rina has dissolved over the weekend, leaving the relatively tenured Philippe the sole point of focus in the Atlantic storm basin. While he is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by the end of this week, most projections keep Philippe out to sea, with a non-zero percent chance he makes landfall in Nova Scotia or Maine.

Unsurprisingly the CFTC reported a 6.8% increase in money manager net positions in WTI futures last week as speculative bettors piled on their bullish bets. While $100 oil is being shoutedfromeveryrooftop, we’ve yet to see that conviction on the charts: open interest on WTI futures is far below that of the last ~7 years.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkFriday, Sep 29 2023

The Energy Bulls Are On The Run This Morning, Lead By Heating And Crude Oil Futures

The energy bulls are on the run this morning, lead by heating and crude oil futures. The November HO contract is trading ~7.5 cents per gallon (2.3%) higher while WTI is bumped $1.24 per barrel (1.3%) so far in pre-market trading. Their gasoline counterpart is rallying in sympathy with .3% gains to start the day.

The October contracts for both RBOB and HO expire today, and while trading action looks to be pretty tame so far, it isn’t a rare occurrence to see some big price swings on expiring contracts as traders look to close their positions. It should be noted that the only physical market pricing still pricing their product off of October futures, while the rest of the nation already switched to the November contract over the last week or so.

We’ve now got two named storms in the Atlantic, Philippe and Rina, but both aren’t expected to develop into major storms. While most models show both storms staying out to sea, the European model for weather forecasting shows there is a possibility that Philippe gets close enough to the Northeast to bring rain to the area, but not much else.

The term “$100 oil” is starting to pop up in headlines more and more mostly because WTI settled above the $90 level back on Tuesday, but partially because it’s a nice round number that’s easy to yell in debates or hear about from your father-in-law on the golf course. While the prospect of sustained high energy prices could be harmful to the economy, its important to note that the current short supply environment is voluntary. The spigot could be turned back on at any point, which could topple oil prices in short order.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkThursday, Sep 28 2023

Gasoline And Crude Oil Futures Are All Trading Between .5% And .8% Lower To Start The Day

The energy complex is sagging this morning with the exception of the distillate benchmark as the prompt month trading higher by about a penny. Gasoline and crude oil futures are all trading between .5% and .8% lower to start the day, pulling back after WTI traded above $95 briefly in the overnight session.

There isn’t much in the way of news this morning with most still citing the expectation for tight global supply, inflation and interest rates, and production cuts by OPEC+.

As reported by the Department of Energy yesterday, refinery runs dropped in all PADDs, except for PADD 3, as we plug along into the fall turnaround season. Crude oil inventories drew down last week, despite lower runs and exports, and increased imports, likely due to the crude oil “adjustment” the EIA uses to reconcile any missing barrels from their calculated estimates.

Diesel remains tight in the US, particularly in PADD 5 (West Coast + Nevada, Arizona) but stockpiles are climbing back towards their 5-year seasonal range. It unsurprising to see a spike in ULSD imports to the region since both Los Angeles and San Francisco spot markets are trading at 50+ cent premiums to the NYMEX. We’ve yet to see such relief on the gasoline side of the barrel, and we likely won’t until the market switches to a higher RVP.

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