The Energy Complex Is Drifting Lower This Morning In Another Slow Day Of Futures Trading
The energy complex is drifting lower this morning in what looks to be another slow day of futures trading. Gasoline, diesel, and both major crude oil grades’ prompt month contracts are down ~.2% so far this morning.
One thing that could breathe some life into this thin market is the Department of Energy’s inventory report, due out at it’s regular time today. The American Petroleum Institute published their report late yesterday, estimating an across-the-board draw in total inventory levels for crude oil, gasoline, and diesel. A confirmation of those estimates could inspire enough buying to keep the 5-day streak of gains alive.
Barring another global shutdown (which as we know isn’t an impossibility) it seems to be the consensus that our oil supply glut days are over, for now. Rebounding demand, regional supply crunches, and decreased spending on energy discovery and infrastructure are the factors the banks, oil companies, and countries are warning could lead to an oil shortage in 2022. Those market dynamics paired with the looming threat of inflation could see oil prices make a run at $100 per barrel next year, a level not seen traded since 2014.
Ethanol prices fell sharply yesterday as prompt barrels begin their slide down the steep backwardation we’ve seen the past few months. Chicago ethanol, sometimes used as a national benchmark, was estimated around $2.62 yesterday, the lowest price seen since October.
As of yesterday Exxon will keep it’s Baytown refinery at reduced rates while it continues efforts to identify the source of last week’s explosion that injured four. It’s hard to tell if the Gulf Coast basis traders literally or figuratively hit snooze: they either know and don’t care or are taking the week off. It’s probably both.