WTI And RBOB Futures Reach Highest Levels Since 2014
WTI and RBOB futures both reached their highest levels since 2014 overnight as a lack of unity from OPEC & Friends, an influx of investor money, and another renewable fuel court ruling, all seem to be helping push prices higher. Prices have pulled back since reaching those highs however, and there are some warning signals that a pullback may be coming soon.
OPEC & Friends failed for a third time to come up with an agreement on Monday as the UAE continues to act as a roadblock. While the market has reacted with higher prices following this news, it could in fact end up being bearish, as the fragile alliance was preventing too much supply hitting the market and without it, countries may overproduce to take advantage of prices trading at multi-year highs.
Tropical Storm Elsa is making its way across the Florida keys this morning, with winds around 60 miles an hour. The Storm is expected to pass near the port of Tampa overnight and make landfall sometime Wednesday. The path keeps the storm far away from any refineries or off shore production so should not a non-factor for supply.
Money managers continued their recent trend of increasing net length (bets on higher prices for refined products, but reducing them for Crude oil. RBOB gasoline contracts led the buying last week as the large speculative trader category increased their long positions by 10%, jumping on the high gasoline price bandwagon as prices reached 7 year highs.
Baker Hughes reported 3 more oil rigs were put to work last week. That puts the total U.S. oil rig count up 191 from a year ago, when prices were fighting to get back to $40 per barrel. Then again, the rig count is 412 less than it was 2 years ago, when prices were around $56, nearly $20/barrel less than where they are trading today.
RINs had another choppy session on Friday, starting the day under more selling pressure only to rally in the afternoon following a court ruling that invalidated E15 sales in the summer time. While E15 has had a hard time catching on outside of the Midwest, it does take another blending option off the table and reduce the availability of RINs to meet RFS obligations. Due to the early selling in RINs we saw Friday, the nickel move higher in values won’t show up until tonight’s assessment.