NYMEX Slows Acceleration after Yesterday's Spikes

Posted by Kelly Burke on Apr 16, 2015 3:51:34 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Today the NYMEX settled out much more reasonably than yesterday, with ULSD finishing off up .0192 to 1.908, and RBOB settled down 6 points to 1.9354. 

Yesterday was another story however, with prices shooting up on the lower than anticipated stock levels in this weeks EIA storage report. Crude was up over 3% shortly after the report, a little before 11am. At the close, ULSD ticked up .0871 to 1.8888 and RBOB shot up a solid dime to 1.936. 

In addition to the EIA report, there's been more grumblings on production cut backs from OPEC, although as usual the Saudi's are holding firm. The Saudi position is starting to seriously impact US production - hence the lower than anticipated numbers on the EIA's report, and the resultant market freak out. 

As of last week the US Crude inventories were at their 80 year high, so the reaction seems somewhat extreme. However, the actual numbers were about 30% of the projected increase so that obviously caused some concern about how hard the impact from another huge OPEC production month really is. Also, once again these events coincide with rumblings from the Fed on economic policy, specifically the interest rate level as well as continued problems in Yemen.

Deja vu all over again. 

Stay Tuned!

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Topics: NYMEX, FED rates, EIA Inventories, yemen

Job Reports, Inventories & International Issues Keep Volatility Going

Posted by Kelly Burke on Apr 3, 2015 1:27:07 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

It's been a while, so while the markets closed today, lets take a quick look back at whats been happening (some "light reading for your Friday afternoon)

The economy -

After positive reports in February, the March jobless numbers released today were something of a dissapointment. Only 126K jobs were added, which broke a 12 month streak of 200K+ jobs per month being added. This raises some eyebrows on the state of the economic recovery but some analysts are blaming the extended winter, arguing that the normal pick up in seasonal and construction industry jobs is simply delayed because of the cold. 

This lackluster jobs number, however, will once again probably have Wall Street see-sawing over speculations on the Fed interest rates, its probably unlikely to happen soon (I know, deja vu) given the weakness of the report. With the market closed today though we won't see what if any impact this will have until next week.

Commodities and Pricing

This weeks EIA report for the week ending March 27th showed Crude Inventories at record highs for the 12th straight week (+4.8mmb to 471.4mmb). Gasoline dropped 4.3mmb, way over analyst predictions of a less than 1mmb drop. We've seen stronger than expected demand in gasoline, particularly in January and thats sort of underlying its volatility at the moment - if you recall, RBOB jumped .0612 Wednesday on the report, but then pared the gains on Thursday, closing out -.0699 to 1.7613.

The main underlyer on the volatility over the past few weeks is more politically driven - we saw jumps on the NYMEX when it was announced that Saudi Arabia had begun airstrikes on Yemen. Additionally, the Iranian nuclear deal has some traders and speculators on edge, and continuing issues with ISIS and the ongoing strikes against them are keeping Middle East tensions higher than we'd all like to see. Luckily for the most part, days we've seen spikes on international turmoil have usually been reversed with a few days. It's likely this will continue unless there's some real movement or resolution on any of the aforementioned issues. Til then, hold onto your hats and enjoy the ride!

 

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Topics: Iran, Jobless numbers, EIA Inventories, saudi arabia, yemen

Inventories and Saudi Market Moves Continue to Push Oil Prices Down

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 28, 2015 3:13:24 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Oil continued downward today on the back of the EIA inventory report for last week that indicated Crude stockpiles were up 9mmbl to a record high of about 407mmbbls. At the close, Crude dropped below $45/bbl, -1.78 to 44.45. ULSD and RBOB closed lower as well, ULSD settling down .0310 to 1.6318, and RBOB settled down .0051 to 1.345.

In addition to the inventory report, as we mentioned, the new Saudi leader has indicated the largest OPEC producer will continue on its track to hit production goals set. Both of these factors mean traders are still concerned with longterm over supply, which is continuing to drive down prices.

The Saudi stock market shot up today as well on rumors of relaxing restrictions on foreigners trading that market. This ties back to the oil oversupply, in that most are crediting the Saudi's potential move of opening the market up as a way to raise revenue and stimulate the economy in the non-energy sectors, which indicates further that the current oversupply will be a long term situation.

In other news, the House today passed a bill to expedite the process for permitting LNG exports. With the increase in US Nat Gas production (the US is currently the worlds top producer), the thought is exporting would not only be economically beneficial for the US but exporting to Europe could reduce the essential monopoly Russia has on natural gas supply in those nations. 

At the same time that passed the House, a Keystone bill continued to languish in the Senate when the attempt to pass a procedural motion to push the vote failed Monday. One of the ammendments to the current bill is a proposal to eliminate the ethanol mandate portion of the RFS - this will be an important one to watch, certainly.

Stay tuned!

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Topics: natural gas, CRUDE, Saudi Oil Minister, EIA Inventories

The Swiss Rock Stocks, NYMEX Goes Along for the Ride

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 15, 2015 3:41:54 PM

Man grasping his head looking at computer screens

 

So a quick rundown on what's been happening in the markets this week:

Inventories

The inventory report from the EIA for this past week pegged Crude up 5.4mmb, to its highest level for this time of year in over 80 years. 

Gasoline inventories were up 3.2mmb, staying in the higher levels of the 5 year average for this time of year, and distillates were up 2.9mmb but remain in the lower half of the 5 year average range.

Markets

The stock markets across the globe went crazy today after the Swiss pulled a surprise move and removed the cap on the swiss franc (the cap keeps the franc artificially low versus other currencies), sending the Euro markets into chaos.Back here at home, dissapointing financial sector numbers pulled stocks down as well. The S&P dragged down with energy players and Best Buys' 10.9%  tumble.

The markets closed down across the board in the US,for the fifth day in a row.

The NYMEX closed down in tandem. Weak global financial data, plus the disappointing domestic bank earnings reports pushed oil down right along with stocks on a renewed concern about global demand levels in the face of oversupply.

Yesterday gas closed up over 8 cents, but today's drop erased a little over 5 cents of the gain. ULSD closed down a little over 3 cents to settle out at 1.6233, more than erasing Wednesdays gain of .0222.

Crude closed out at 46.23 (-2.23) a drop of a little over 4%. 

 

Politics

Yet another Keystone Pipeline bill has gone through Congress, and early this week it passed the procedural hurdles required to get it onto the Senate floor. Debate is expected to continue through the week, with a potential vote on Friday. 

The court case in Nebraska disputing the route of the pipeline has been settled, in theory removing the last remaining obstacle to the project moving forward.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill, and it doesnt appear at the moment that the legislature has the votes to overturn the veto, so we shall see what happens there. 

 

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Topics: Keystone XL, CRUDE, EIA Inventories

Commodity Slide Continues Into 2015

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 8, 2015 11:32:11 AM

Barrel of oil with dollars falling around it

2015 is off to a wild start, with Crude dancing around and then dropping below $50/bbl. Wednesday (the 7th) Crude closed out at $48.65, yet another 5 year record. Gasoline and distillates have closed down every day this week, so it looks like the 2014 slide has no intention of stopping.

The inventories published this week showed:

  • Crude: 3.1 mmbbls draw
  • Distillate: 11.2 mmbbls build
  • Gasoline: 8.2 mmbbls build

Weakened demand pushed up distillate and gasoline inventories, as did a drop in import levels so we saw a build despite a concurrent drop in production. 

Interestingly, Bloomberg is reporting today that the U.S. exported a record amount of Crude oil in November of 2014 - the highest amount exported in fact, since record keeping began in the 1920s. This puts the U.S. into the 17th largest exporter spot. (You can read the full Bloomberg story here: "U.S. Oil Exports Jump to Record as Shale Production Booms )

Continuing builds and a ramp up in exports may be the future for domestic production, and long term this could in theory keep prices stable at a lower level. However, a lot depends on how the economy rebounds (or doesnt) both here and globally. Without a ramp up in demand, continued excessive production will continue to drive prices down but without tangible economic returns. 

Last week the stock market got crushed on dropping oil prices, but it closed up sharply Wednesday, and today all 3 major indexes are in strongly positive territory. 

At writing, FEB ULSD is trending up .0154, and RBOB is essentially flat, up .0005, with Crude trending up .22

Outer months August and beyond are all trading in the red for all products at the moment, though. 

We should see this week if the ups and downs get tighter than they have been (ie swinging a penny versus 6) if we start to settle into a new benchmark low, or if the slide keeps going strong. 

 

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Topics: Commodities, US Crude Exports, EIA Inventories, stock market, shale

NYMEX Keeps Sliding on Dollar, Iraq, Margin Rates, and The Fed

Posted by Kelly Burke on Dec 4, 2014 3:54:48 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Oil prices kept sliding this week on positive signs, despite a draw in US Crude supplies. 

Tuesday dropped on news of Iraqis striking an export deal with the Kurds that will resume the flow of oil from Kirkuk that had essentially been stalled out previously. Brent responded to the news by almost completely reversing its 3% gain on Monday and settling down $2 to $70.54. WTI, which was up 4% on Monday also dropped a little over $2 to close out at $66.88.

Besdies the Iraqi deal, factors in play in the selloff were also that the CME Group raised initial margins on crude oil futures by almost 16% which probably spurred sell offs, and the dollar also hit a 4 year high, which continued to push commodities down across the board. 

On the NYMEX Tuesday both products tanked,  ULSD ended up at 2.1544 (-.0580) and gas closed at 1.8116 (-.0694). 

EIA Inventories out Wednesday saw draws on Crude (-3.5MMbbls) with builds in distillates and gasoline. NYMEX still closed down, although far more moderately than Tuesday's drop off, with ULSD settling out at 2.1334 (-.0210) and Gas settling out at 1.807 (-.0046). 

The Fed's "beige book" notes came out Wednesday as well and were generally positive on the economy as a whole  and referenced the growth potential from lower energy prices, especially from consumer spending.

There is also some positivity in the shale situation, despite the falling prices from oversupply, analysts are still predicting a minimum increase in production for 2015 of 500,000bpd, in addition to production from new Gulf projects set to come online in the near future. 

Today the trends continued, with Crude landing at 66.81 (-.57), ULSD settling out at 2.1177 (-.0159) and gas at 1.7948 (-0114), possibly on the belief that we're going to see a positive jobs report tommorow. Will be interesting to see how the market reacts to its release. (When was the last time anyone guessed the jobs report numbers correctly, anyway?)

Stay tuned!

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Topics: CRUDE, NYMEX, FED rates, EIA Inventories, Iraq

NYMEX Tanking Despite Inventory Draws

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 13, 2014 2:20:00 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

 

The EIA inventory report for the week ending November 7 showed draws in Crude & Distillates, with a build in gasoline. Crude drew down 1.7MMb and distillates drew down 2.8MMb, while gas built 1.8MMb.

Watching the screen though, you wouldnt think we showed draws - ULSD and RBOB are both dropping like the proverbial stone - both products had intraday lows well over 6 cents, with gas dropping down 8 for a few. 

UPDATE - ULSD close 2.3621 (-.0848) and Gas -.1054) - Yikes!! January& February gasoline closed under $2 at 1.9827, and 1.9899, respectively

So whats going on? Why even with a draw down on products, and once again heightening tensions in Russia/Ukraine are commodities dropping?

The jobless number report was higher than anticipated by about 10,000, but the numbers are still are hanging near a 14 year low so that ought not be a huge factor in either commodity numbers, or the stock market. The stock market, by the way, is retreating a little from it's record highs and hanging flat on the back of falling energy shares once again, due to falling prices. 

We still are in the same situation with OPEC and American production being sky high, and global demand due to economic growth being anemic at best, so the dismal supply demand situation is still at play.

Going out on a limb I would credit the extra oomph of todays drop off to lots of news regarding Keystone - with a bill being pushed through to the Senate that will actually make it to the floor, things are being shaken up on the energy front. Word is, in an attempt to save the seat of Landreiu, from Louisianna, who faces a runoff election challenge next month, Senate leader Reid has agreed to allow the legislation to the floor. 

Although most talking heads seem to think Obama will veto - still, the implication is that the midterms probably will be forcing some of the top energy agenda items through, and thats good news  - unless of course you fixed high, in which case dropping energy prices might start hitting you in the wallet very soon. 

How low can we go?

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Topics: Keystone XL, RBOB tumbles, NYMEX, Crude draws, EIA Inventories

Stocks Rebound on Election, Energy Shares Continue to Falter on Cheap Crude

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 5, 2014 9:51:45 AM

Stock market numbers on a digital board

The Dow & Nasdaq were up in pre-market trading on news of a Republican sweep last night, and stocks are continuing to rebound this morning after Tuesdays drop off. The exception to this rule being energy shares, which are pulling the S&P down on the back of plummeting Crude prices. 

The ADP report on October job creation came in at 230K, 10K above the projected number. Strong payroll numbers for October and September, continually falling initial jobless claims and a surprisingly good Q3 growth number (3.5%) are all good signs for the overall economy.

However, there is still the factor of weakening global growth and demand, which will probably keep the domestic growth pace a lot slower than we'd all prefer. The Q4 growth number is expected to be much less exciting than Q3, thanks to global concerns. 

We saw WTI touch on a 3 year low yesterday on the back of the Saudi price cuts, oversupply, and booming production in the US. This is pulling energy shares down and impacting oil field companies and major industry players, as Crude starts to touch levels that make expensive shale play exploration an increasingly less profitable proposition.

 The Platts pre-report on US inventories is projecting the EIA report will show another build in Crude of about 1.2million barrels. Currently the NYMEX is relatively flat ahead of the EIA report's scheduled release at 10:30 this morning.

We should see then if the analysts got it right, and what, if any, impact the stock data will have on pricing moving forward. 

 

 

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Topics: US Energy Boom, CRUDE, WTI Crude, EIA Inventories, stock market, Election Results

OPEC Chatter Drives up BRENT, Friday Trading Reverses CRUDE Rally

Posted by Kelly Burke on Oct 24, 2014 1:52:54 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Thursday saw prices tick up after it was reported that the Saudi's output dropped from 9.69 million barrels to 9.36 million barrels. There has been some chatter and concern around the scheduled OPEC meeting in November. The concern being that OPEC will push curbing supply to stop the price declines we've seen in recent months. Brent Crude was up 3% on the news, the highest its been in 4 months.

However, despite the OPEC chatter, the Saudi's have said they will keep output at scheduled high levels even with lower pricing to maintain market share. Additionally, reportedly only a small number of members have suggested supply curbing.

US Inventories surged on this weeks EIA report as well, up 7.1 million barrels to a little over 377 million barrels, which was about twice what analysts predicted, and hopefully helps to calm some of the potentially unfounded fear of OPEC that's pushing volatility. 

If we look back, the 20% drop in crude pricing we've seen over the past several months have been directly related to an abundance of supply, and with US oil production surging ahead, and the Saudi's not indicating they will initiate any sort of hold back to drive prices up, the situation remains the same and the volatility should back off. However, it's possible that some roller coastering will remain until after the meeting, when its officially settled whether or not we have to worry about supply curbing. 

The market seems to concur today, though, with both Brent and WTI trending back downwards.

ULSD & RBOB are trending down on the NYMEX today as well, down about a penny and a half on both at the moment. Both products closed up significantly yesterday - ULSD +.0256 to 2.499 and gas up +.0513 to 2.2069, which effectively cancelled out Wednesdays drops of .0398 and .0578, for those keeping score at home.

 

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Topics: Brent Crude, CRUDE, RBOB, OPEC, WTI Crude, EIA Inventories, ulsd

OPEC Tensions and "Break Even" Testing Pause NYMEX Dropoff

Posted by Kelly Burke on Oct 17, 2014 9:08:15 AM

Abstract image of an oil rig, dollars and a calculator

Thursday we saw ULSD settle out to erase most of Wednesdays drop - Wednesday it closed down -.0136 to 2.4586, and Thursday settled out at 2.4703 (+.0117). Gas not only erased Wednesday's 3 cent drop, but rebounded up +.0622 for the day to 2.2109. This morning, ULSD is trending up about a penny/penny and a half, while gas is hanging in the +.005 range, both having backed off earlier jumps.

So what's going on?

EIA stock reports came out Thursday (thanks to Columbus Day) and showed a build in Crude (+8.9 million barrels), a drop in gasoline (-4 million barrels) and distillates were down as well (-1.5 million barrels). CRUDE actually hit a 52 week low for a brief moment Thursday morning prior to the reports' release but ended up settling out at 82.70

With a decent stock report though, why is everything up when we've been on such a streak? Most likely culprit is the increasing tension slash standoff within OPEC. Historically, when prices dropped below a certain benchmark and started impacting the revenue of OPEC nations they could slow production output somewhat to stabilize. 

But now with thee US becoming a major player in global supply, thing have gotten a little awkward. Its possible that normal rampdowns in output will no longer have the huge impacts on price they once did, given that these nations are now not essentially the only players making an impact. 

However, a lot of analysts speculate that the reason OPEC is taking the giant hits to their nations' revenue without stalling production is an attempt to "find the bottom" and let supply run up to test what level American production can maintain in the face of dropping prices, especially given that the projected minimum level would be around $80 in order to still be profitable production from Shale.

Additionally, in comparison to OPEC operations, a lot of American projects are just that - projects - and in the face of falling revenue, its possible some of the higher cost, longer payout projects will stall out. However, given the remarkable jumps in efficiency from fracking to refinining we've seen domestically, it will be interesting to see where that level might actually be.

Given the weakness of the global economy, raising prices may be a tricky game with less return than anticpated as well, given the concurrent drop in demand. Saudi Arabia, who produces about a third of the OPEC output also looks motivated to maintain market share by any means necessary even at a short term loss in revenue. Specifically it appears motivated to maintain market share in the Asian teritorries - which will probably become even more relevant to them over the coming years, especially if the Alberta to St John pipeline project is approved which would open Canada up to export and become yet another global competitor on supply. 

 

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Topics: CRUDE, OPEC, EIA Inventories, shale

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