Double Black Friday - Commodities & Spending Both Dropped Off

Posted by Kelly Burke on Dec 1, 2014 11:44:34 AM

Black Friday overlaid on dollars

A doubly "Black Friday" this year as OPECs decision resulted in a commodities free fall. The second part is that it was hoped that the relief consumers have been getting at the pump since the summer would have helped boost retail sales for the season. As the numbers are coming in though, it's not looking good.

Despite the mayhem in shopping centers we've all seen on YouTube, it looks like Black Friday spending was down 0.5% or so this year over last (bad news, as last year was not a stellar one). 

Today is cyber monday - but dont look to that for relief and an influx of money to retailers either - analysts project that Cyber Monday sales will be off around 3% this year over last. 

The NYMEX was down this morning but has rallied into positive territory again, but who knows for how long. 

Analysts across the board are now pegging the new "floor" price to be around $40/bbl, with Murray Edwards, the Canadian Natural Resources Chairman saying WTI could drop to $30, although he does not expect thats where it would stabilize for very long. (As reported in Business Insider this morning).

Why so low? 

Well, the global picture is still lackluster, to put it as kindly as possible. Japan is back into a recession, and Moody's downgraded their credit rating. Chinese economic growth is still in the toilet, which puts their demand level in the same place.

It appears the move by OPEC to keep prices falling to maintain market share is working, US exports to Asia have essentially screeched to a halt as low Middle East prices become more attractive to the Asian markets. 

It's not all doom and gloom from the analysts though, Goldman Sachs maintains its $75/bbl forecasted price for WTI for 2015, maintaining the assumption that the OPEC move is to slow US production by reducing profitability and "test the bottom" as it were. However, once they get a feeling for the level they may want prices to start going up again, as so many OPEC nations economies rely on oil generated revenue. Its probably likely Russia enters the debate soon as falling oil revenue is tanking the Ruble and their general economy is really feeling the pinch. 

Stay tuned!

 

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Topics: Commodities, US Energy Boom, OPEC, russia, WTI Crude, consumer spending

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

Targeting ISIS - Oil Prices & Air Strikes

Posted by Kelly Burke on Sep 25, 2014 9:27:49 AM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

 Supplies & EIA Data

August saw record high export levels - 3.96 million bpd, up 17% year on year, and refinery output was also up 2.3% over last August. We also saw Crude production surge 16% - largely from Eagle Ford and Bakken shale formation drilling, and on the flip, imports dropped to 7.6 million bpd for the month - the lowest import level seen in August for over 18 years. 

However,EIA data for this past week showed large draws - attributed to those same lower imports we saw over the August period. Crude Supplies were down over 3 million barrels, way off of the 750k barrel gain forecasted by analysts. Gasoline showed draws as wel -lin the neighborhood of 440k barrels.  These draws in supply are supporting the current price levels we are seeing. 

 

ISIL/ISIS & Syria

This week kicked off a coordinateed air strike camaign between the US and primarily Arab Allies bombing ISIS/ISIL targets in Syria.  

Reports are that the major source of funding for ISIS is blackmarket oil - they may be generating up to 3 million dollars PER DAY.

US supplies may actually be a critical factor in targeting ISIS. Why? Because high US stockpiles help stabilize global prices, and lower global prices mean lower blackmarket prices, which hurts ISISs ability to self fund.

Saudi Arabia & OPEC in theory could threaten to curb supply to maintain or force high prices -that would be better for their revenue- however, the Saudis have said they will not change any agreed upon supply. Why? 

Because they want ISIS out of the picture too, so even though this years slide in pricing is hurting the bottom line for some oil producing nations - maintining lower prices forces ISIS to keep cutting the price on black market oil to maintain the discount and the lower it goes, the lower their revenue drops. Add to this that 12 modular refineries are targets for the air strike and you effectively dry up their ability to self fund, as well as their ability to fuel their operations. So, for the Saudis et al - a short term budget shortfall makes long term sense because it can take ISIS out of the equation entirely in the future (in theory anyway). 

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Topics: US Energy Boom, OPEC, Syria, ISIS

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