Energy Market Updates

Saudi's to Stay the Course Despite New Leadership

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 23, 2015 3:20:30 PM

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Quick note on the news this week - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died yesterday, temporarily rattling the markets. 

We discussed before that the Saudi stance on keeping OPEC hitting its production targets was a major factor in the continuing downward trends in the markets. Brent Crude shot up temporarily on the news - up about 2%,  but came off highs as the day progressed. 

The new ruler, King Saldman stated there would be no change to what he called the "correct policies" on oil the country has stood by even in the face of the 60% drop in prices. Additionally, the oil minister under Abdullah will keep his position in the new regime, which further implies that Saudi Arabia will stay the current course, and served to calm traders back down as the trading day wore on. 

On this side of the pond, today we saw ULSD close out +.0088 to 1.6467, and RBOB closed up .0053 to 1.3479. 

 

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Topics: OPEC, Saudi Oil Minister

The Swiss Rock Stocks, NYMEX Goes Along for the Ride

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

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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

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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

Wild Week on Wall Street & The NYMEX; Everything Keeps on Tumbling!

Posted by Kelly Burke on Dec 10, 2014 5:43:25 PM

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Today was another wild day on the market, with ULSD closing down another .0376 to 2.0464, and RBOB closing out down a whopping .0818 to 1.6418. Analysts are crediting this with an "unexpected" increase in Crude stockpiles. WTI fell -2.60/bbl to 60.94, well below the previous 5 year low.

Monday was down as well, closing out -.0529 on ULSD and -.0668 on RBOB gasoline.

We saw a small jump up yesterday (ULSD +.0291 and RBOB +.0170) - likely just a bump-in-the-road overcorrection to stocks tanking on some bad news from Greece and China. This week saw Greek markets tank worse than they did before the crash a few years ago - obviously not good news for the European economy. 

OPEC also became a factor again with Iran railing against falling oil prices as a "conspiracy" and OPEC cutting its output estimate for 2015 to 2.89 million barrels per day, 300K lower than they originally forecast. However, despite the announcement Crude keeps right on plummeting. 

Wall Street Traders have been shouting about the Dow's inevitable march to 18,000, but today saw it close down for the third day in a row. Continuing pressure on stocks given that Fed rate hikes look like they may happen within the 6 month period doesnt bode well for the 18K mark, especially when you factor the weakness in foreign markets into the equation.

The S&P slumped on energy stocks as well, as some companies came out with plans to move on layoffs, restructuring, or selling shale plays. Despite a few plays going up for sale though, production domestically doesnt seem to be slowing down. However, a slow down in production in countries that have a high production cost is probably inevitable if the price hits a certain level - that includes the US and Venezuela. 

So it was a tough week for Wall Street, but the bright spot was for the average consumers as downward pressure keeps pushing down the price of gasoline. The Energy Department dropped its price forecast for retail gasoline to for next year at this time to $2.60/gallon, the second time its been revised down by over 30 cents a gallon since oil began its slide. Another bright spot domestically was an unexpectedly good jobs report on Friday, which is a good signal for the overall economy. 

 

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Topics: Greece, RBOB tumbles, OPEC, NYMEX, Wall Street

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

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

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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

Commodities Rally after Record Drops, up 3% on Crude

Posted by Kelly Burke on Dec 1, 2014 2:57:56 PM

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After the mulityear lows hit last week, oil started to rally today.

We're still lower than prior to the OPEC production announcement, but today saw ULSD up +.0512 to 2.2124 at the close, and Gas rallied up +.0534 to 1.881 at the close. WTI Crude closed up 2.99 to 69.00/bbl

Analysts are hopeful for an equilbrium price level between $70 and $75 so we're at least much more comfortably close to maintainence levels than we were on Friday. However, even at $70, shale production isnt terribly profitable, so on that side it wouldnt be the greatest benchmark. However, on the consumer level $60 sounds better than $70/bbl when you fill up your car. 

(And yes, the analysts are hoping for $70 while panicking about $40. C'est la vie, right?)

So why did we go up? 

The dollar weakened some, which almost always gives commodities a little bump. 

Most likely though, its just a pull back from an overreaction in selling off on Friday. 

Time will tell. The next few market days should be interesting to watch, especially with the inventory numbers out Wednesday. 

Stay Tuned!

 

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Topics: Commodities, Dollar falls, OPEC, WTI Crude, ulsd

Double Black Friday - Commodities & Spending Both Dropped Off

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

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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

OPEC Decision Puts NYMEX into Free Fall - Gas Closes Under $2!

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 28, 2014 2:57:54 PM

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The market is tanking across the board (and dragging the S&P with it) on the results of the OPEC meeting for November on Wednesday. The meeting officially cemented the long suspected decision by the cartel to keep oil production and output at current levels, despite the crashing prices and global glut of Crude oil. 

Saudi Arabia determined production would remain at current levels - as the largest producer in the group, they essentially set the policy. Several smaller members reportedly wanted to curb supply to raise prices, largely because a huge part of their country's economy runs off of the money generated from oil sales. 

Today we're just watching product prices tank across the board, Crude is below 70 for the first time in almost 5 years. Today's trading alone saw a 9% decline in price. Yowza.

Crude closed out the day at 66.15, -7.54/bbl.

ULSD closed out -.1657 to 2.2308 for December and -.1679 to 2.1612 for January (this was the last day for DEC trading)

Gas closed off -.1312 to 1.9039 for December trading and -.1843 to 1.8276 for January. Under 2 dollars on the screen?! Its been quite some time since thats been the case!

There could be some interesting geopolitical and other ramifications from the record drops on commodities. Countries like Russia who base a lot of their economy on projected oil revenue are really feeling the decline, and we will have to see how long their economies can withstand the steep drop in renevue. 

Domestically, the resultant falling gas prices are a positive for consumers obviously. They can also be a huge relief to construction, manufacturing, and transportation companies, as well as general retailers.

Its said that every ten cent drop in the price of gasoline unlocks 3 billion dollars to be spent elsewhere. (According to Wells Fargo). We may get a quick confirmation or refutation of that theory when the numbers start rolling in on the prime shopping season that kicked off today with the infamous "Black Friday", the Superbowl of shopping. 

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Topics: CRUDE, OPEC, NYMEX

NYMEX Tanking Despite Inventory Draws

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

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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

NYMEX Flips on EIA Data, Stocks Continue to Surge

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 5, 2014 3:33:09 PM

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Analysts predicted Crude would build in the neighborhood of 1.2million barrels for the week ending October 31. The market hung flat until the report's release at 10:30 this morning and initially jumped up after.

The EIA data showed builds of only 0.5 MMbbls on Crude and draws in all other products. Distillates were down 0.7MMbbls, and Gasoline was down 1.3MMbbls.

The Market jumped up over 3 cents at 11 after the report came out, but has since backed off significantly with ULSD hanging up relatively flat (.0025 - .0049 range) and gasoline hovering up almost 2 cents (.0187) for most of the early afternoon.

The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all surged into positive territory today. Historically, stocks tend to go up post Midterm elections as there generally is a lot of uncertainty leading up to them, and traders may have a clearer picture of what agenda items will be moved on and their results once the dust settles and the votes are cast.

Also, as we mentioned, the ADP report was good for October, which is always a positive.

The commodities price slide we've seen has hit the brakes on the newest EIA Inventory reporting, which is probably why the S&P isnt dropping on energy share prices. Exxon, Chevron and Shell are all trending up this afternoon.

At the close, ULSD settled out -.0040 to 2.4387, and gas settled up +.0087 to 2.0867. The Dow is set for a record close, the S&P is holding strongly positive and the Nasdaq is falling slightly. Crazy, crazy day on the markets!

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Energy Market Updates

The information contained in this report has been taken from trade and statistical services and sources believed to be reliable. Dennis K. Burke, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the content of such news, including, without limitation, its accuracy and completeness. This bulletin is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a recommendation to buy or sell commodities.

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