Energy Market Updates

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diesel

Looking at the Long Term

I talk a lot about the short term happenings, inventories, missile strikes, etc.  The real key is to look at the long term, minimally the mid-range.  While diesel demand kicked up a whopping 10% last week, the four week average is still down by 3.8%.  Similar with gasoline demand that showed strength last week, but is still down about 1% on a four week average.  As core inflation finally ticked down 2 basis points this week, what are the long term effects, should that trend continue?  The FED should start to cut interest rates, slowly over time.  Lower borrowing costs typically stimulate an economy, thus pushing up demand for fuels, and higher prices.  We are about $.15 higher on diesel pricing than we were last year at this time, and spent much of the early summer in a tight range, we may have some downside left as war premiums are shed.

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Demand Surge & Global Impacts

A massive increase in demand for gas and diesel stalled the downward correction we have been seeing as of late.  Adding to that, both finished products inventories fell last week, diesel futures took the lead and jumped up more than $.05 yesterday.  While we seem to be set for an early spring and hopefully a more robust construction season, the 15% increase in distillate demand has many scratching their heads.  Even with the latest increase, the 4 week average for demand on distillates is still relatively flat.  Gasoline average demand is still down about 3%, even after last weeks 6.4% increase.  Buoying pricing was also the first reported fatalities onboard a Commercial Vessel from Houti attacks in the Red Sea area.  A major global shipping lane, this latest attack will likely all but halt most vessels from entering the area.  The FED is in a holding pattern on rates, but have hinted that they will make “appropriate” adjustments in the coming months as inflation appears to be stalling, how that influences fuel pricing remains to be seen.  I would expect pricing to continue this sideways action and be somewhat range bound for the next week or so.

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Cruising Through Choppy Waters: Market Swings & Red Sea Tensions

Futures markets continue to trade in wide daily ranges as it digests both inventory and demand data along with monitoring the ongoing “crisis” in the red sea area.  While diesel futures are up over $.20 from the beginning of the month, it appears it could have been a lot worse without taking into account the overall lack of demand.  Both gasoline and diesel inventories are up over last year, +9% on gas and +18% on distillates, the demand figures are what we are watching closely.  Both products are down roughly 3% versus last year, while it doesn’t seem like a large number, in the overall picture it is enough to keep markets in check from skyrocketing higher.  Again, diesel demand is often looked at a measuring stick of the overall health of the economy.  Clashes in the Red Sea shipping lanes appear to be lessening, but still ongoing, keeping many on edge.  It looks like the markets react overnight with news of new attacks, then subside as the day goes on. 

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Winter Whirlwinds & Diesel Dips

Another wild day yesterday, and this week, as diesel futures traded in a $.10 range the last two days.  There is something to be said that when you walk into a meeting the market is up $.01 and when you walk out it is down $.08! As the December screen falls off and we look at January, the overall movement still appears to be to the downside.  Again, highs not getting higher and lows getting lower over time.  Inventories showed increases across the board this week with distillates leading the charge with a huge 5.2 million barrel jump.  Demand figures showed drops in both gas and distillates and again diesel down almost 18% compared to last year.  (Although, you wouldn’t know it judging by the endless Fed Ex and Amazon trucks showing up at my door). 

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