Reversal Thursday Is In Effect To Start Thursday’s Trading

Market TalkThursday, Dec 9 2021
Pivotal Week For Price Action

Reversal Thursday is in effect to start Thursday’s trading, pushing prices modestly lower after a strong 3 day rally for both energy and equity markets. While the recovery rally this week puts the threat of a bear market on hold, refined products still need to add another 5-7 cents in order to break chart resistance and put an end to the 7 week slide. 

While yesterday’s DOE report was largely shrugged off, it’s clear that near term fundamentals probably aren’t the reason for prices bouncing 25 cents this week, and may provide headwinds to future rally attempts.   The holiday demand hangover hit hard, and helped drive big increases in gasoline and diesel inventories across the country. After a 2nd straight healthy increase in inventories, US gasoline supplies look like they’ve officially made the turn higher for winter, and should continue building for the next 8-10 weeks before beginning the spring drawdown.    

Refinery runs reached a 3 month high as refiners continue to come out of a busy fall turnaround season, and deal with a rash of unplanned upsets all over the country. While production is increasing, it’s still not back to where it was before Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast in August. PADD 2 runs saw the bulk of the increase, which should help to alleviate the extreme product tightness that followed most Ohio refineries being knocked offline in the past month. 

Ethanol production jumped last week as producers race to take advantage of the highest prices in a decade, before the inevitable collapse with forward values trading more than $1 below prompt barrels. RIN values stabilized yesterday after Tuesday’s whipsaw action, trading between $1.02-$1.10 for D6 ethanol RINs on the day.

As the natural gas chess match between the US & Russia ramps up, the EIA is highlighting that new export facilities along the Gulf Coast will create the world’s largest LNG export capacity by the end of next year.   Will that be enough to prevent another energy supply crunch in Europe if Russia turns off the taps in retaliation for sanctions? It’s hard to see how they could any time soon, when Russia is currently providing nearly 30% of European gas supplies, while the US accounts for only 3% and most US exports are heading to Asia.

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

Market Talk Update 12.09.21

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Pivotal Week For Price Action
Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkWednesday, Jul 17 2024

Energy Markets Are Trying To Find A Price Floor After Gasoline And Crude Oil Staged A Healthy Bounce To Minimize The Heavy Losses

Energy markets are trying to find a price floor after gasoline and crude oil staged a healthy bounce to minimize the heavy losses we saw early in Tuesday’s session. WTI is leading the move higher early Wednesday, up nearly $.90/barrel in the early going, while RBOB prices are up just under a penny.

Diesel continues to look like the weak link in the energy chain both technically and fundamentally. Tuesday the API reported a 4.9 million barrel build in diesel stocks, while gasoline inventories were only up 365,000 barrels, and crude oil stocks declined by more than 4.4 million barrels. The DOE’s weekly report is due out at its normal time this morning and it’s likely we’ll see a reduction in oil output and PADD 3 refining runs thanks to shut ins ahead of Hurricane Beryl, but otherwise the storm appears to be a relative non-issue with only 1 notable refining hiccup, that wasn’t even as bad as a midwestern Thunderstorm.

Chicago basis values rallied Tuesday after reports that Exxon had shut down the 250mb/day Joliet refinery following severe storms that knocked out power to the area Sunday. RBOB differentials surged nearly 9 cents on the day, while diesel diffs jumped more than a nickel. With 3 large refineries in close proximity, the Chicago cash market is notoriously volatile if any of those facilities has an upset. Back in May there was a one-day spike in gasoline basis of more than 50 cents/gallon after Joliet had an operating upset so don’t be surprised if there are bigger swings this week if the facility doesn’t come back online quickly.

Moving in the opposite direction, California basis values are heading the opposite direction with the transition to August scheduling pressuring CARBOB differentials in LA and San Francisco to their biggest discounts to prompt RBOB futures in more than 18 months. Gasoline imports into PADD 5 have held well above average levels over the past 2 months, which has more than offset the loss of the P66 Rodeo refinery’s output after it completed its conversion to RD production, in another sign of how growing refining capacity in China and other Asian countries may become more influential to the US. California regulators may also pat themselves on the back that their new plans to force refineries to report their gross profit monthly, in addition to the rules requiring all bulk trades in the state be reported must be driving the lower gasoline differentials, assuming they figure out what a basis differential is.

Meanwhile, California’s Carbon Allowance values have tumbled to their lowest levels in a year after a CARB presentation last week suggested the agency would be delaying long-anticipated tightening of the Cap and Trade program until 2026.

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

Pivotal Week For Price Action
Market TalkTuesday, Jul 16 2024

The Sell-Off In Energy Markets Continues, With Refined Products Reaching Their Lowest Levels In A Month Early In Tuesday’s Session

The sell-off in energy markets continues, with refined products reaching their lowest levels in a month early in Tuesday’s session. Reports of slowing growth in China, the world’s largest oil purchaser, is getting much of the credit for the slide in prices so far this week, although that doesn’t do much to explain why refined products are outpacing the drop in crude.

ULSD futures are leading the early move lower, trading down a nickel on the day, and marking a 19 cent drop since July 4th. There’s not much in the way of technical support for ULSD, so don’t be surprised if this sell-off continues to pick up steam.

With today’s slide, RBOB futures are down 17 cents from where they were trading on July 4th, and are just a couple of cents from testing their 200-day moving average. Should that support break, it looks like there’s a good chance to test the June lows around $2.29.

Physical markets are not offering any strength to the futures market with all 6 of the major cash markets for diesel across the US trading at a discount to ULSD futures, while only 1 gasoline market is trading at a premium to RBOB futures. That combination of weakness in futures and cash markets is going to be troubling for refiners who are seeing margins reduce during what is traditionally a strong time of year.

The EIA highlighted the energy trade between the US and Mexico in a report Monday, showing that despite so many claims of energy independence from Mexican officials, the actual amount of refined fuels and natural gas bought from the US continues to increase. That’s good news for many US refiners who have become more dependent on Mexican purchases to find a home for their output.

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