NYMEX spikes in wake of Saudi Arabia attacks

Posted by Kelly Burke on Sep 16, 2019 3:41:35 PM

saudi arabia

Saturday, ten unmanned drones struck a major Saudi Aramco facility in Saudi Arabia, and immediately took 5.7 million barrels out of the global supply. The Abqaiq plant that was impacted is one of the world's largest processors. 

The Saudi government indicated that Iranian weapons were responsible but stopped short of blaming Iran for the attack, (although US Secretary of State Pompeo did NOT stop short and explicitly called Iran out in a series of tweets).

Yemeni Houthi rebels have taken credit for the strike, and threatened further escalation but it's unclear if they are, in fact, responsible.

Initial reports seem to indicate the attack did not come from Yemen, but Iran has denied any involvement. A lot of the long range implications of the attack will of course hinge on whether military escalation from other nations becomes probable, which directly depends on whether Iran, Yemeni rebels, or a third party was responsible. 

Markets reacted in a big way - Crude was up on the overnights, and Crude, ULSD & RBOB all surged within seconds of the open, and never came back down. 

At the close, ULSD was up a whopping +.2060 to $2.0838, RBOB +.1993 to $1.7524 and Crude $62.90 (+8.05 over Friday's settle) 

This is still a developing story - CNN has a great, continually updating article you can follow new developments on in real time here: Saudi Attacks Send Oil Prices Soaring 

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Topics: Iran, NYMEX, Saudi Arabia Attack

Markets Spike on Vessel Attacks near Strait of Hormuz

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jun 13, 2019 10:51:26 AM

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So much for no major events on the horizon.. After yesterday's drop, where Crude closed out at a 5 month low, this morning the NYMEX was up sharply across the board on developing news of tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. 

The attack was reportedly on two tankers at 6:12 & 7:00 am this morning local time. Crews were evacuated, and thus far both vessels are still afloat, according to Fox news this morning. 

The area the vessels were hit in is close to the Strait of Hormuz, a critical passageway for oil in the Middle East, with approximately 20% of Global volume passing through the Strait. 

The market was up 4% this morning on the news, and we will have to wait and see what further impacts there are as the story develops. It is unclear how safely vessels are able to travel the Strait currently, and it is unclear who attacked the vessels (although some unsubstantiated claims from a group in Iran have surfaced).

Again, this is developing, so we don't yet know what exactly happened, or what the full impact may be. 

For a great explanation of this morning's market reaction, as well as continuing updates, follow this story on CNBC here:

Oil Jumps 4% on Reports of Tanker Attacks in the Gulf of Oman

 

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Topics: Straits of Hormuz, NYMEX

OPEC vs "NOPEC" Drama Pushes NYMEX Up

Posted by Kelly Burke on Apr 5, 2019 4:57:46 PM

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The NYMEX was up today across the board, with Crude closing out at $63.08/bbl, comfortably above that $60 benchmark, and refined products both edged up almost 3 cents, with ULSD closing at 2.0424 (+.0290) and RBOB settling at 1.9687 (+.0288).

So what's going on?

March Oil production from OPEC on preliminary reporting is down 570k barrels per day, primarily driven by drops from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Domestically, rig counts are up, suggesting some level of confidence in prices stabilizing or continuing to increase on the part of producers. Crude production levels are still up overall as well.

Another factor coming back into play this week was the so called “NOPEC” (“No Oil Producing Cartels”) bill in the US that aims to hold OPEC nations potentially liable for what are considered “cartel-like” practices. Currently (and historically) there is no real legal recourse against things like so-called market fixing and this bill aims to change that in terms of establishing liability.

The reason we care about this bill popping up again is that rumor has it the Saudis are responding to the prospect of the bill being pushed through by threatening to drop the dollar as the currency basis for their oil trading.

This might sound familiar because the same thing happened a few years ago. Threats over currency changes and essentially market flooding by the kingdom led to prices crashing (back when we ended out at $30/bbl, from the $100 ish its hard to remember being used to), which drove a substantial number of US based producers out of business (particularly those highly leveraged on shale plays). At the time, the Saudis essentially had enough cash in hand to allow the prices to bottom in order to retain market share and production dominance, where anything under $50-60 a barrel was unsustainable for US companies. 

 So long story short, the threat to replace the dollar is the threat to wreak havoc on the US economy via crashing the market. (One would hope the irony of that being your response to being called a cartel would register)

A point to remember is that at the end of the day, despite production level increases, the US is still a marginal producer, not a swing producer like OPEC, so production is almost fully determined by market price levels. And the dollar being removed as the basis for trading could seriously impact those price levels.

 So at least for today, we closed up on all the drama, but also the fundamentals.

 Time will tell if we hang around the $60 benchmark, or continue to move upward and a substantial portion of which way we go will depend on continuing production cuts globally, and what happens on currency basis changes.

 Stay tuned!

 

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Topics: OPEC, NYMEX, saudi arabia, US Crude Production

NYMEX Plummets on Renewed Fears of Supply Glut

Posted by Kelly Burke on Dec 18, 2018 1:24:49 PM

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Futures are crashing on the NYMEX today, with WTI down around 5% thus far on the day, around the $48/bbl mark, on track to potentially close out at a 15 month low. Refined products are tanking as well, at time of writing, ULSD is off .0472 & RBOB is down .0341

So what's going on?

Once again, it appears the sell off is based on concerns of global oversupply, with the headline being that Russia is reportedly increasing output. The hike could put them at close to 11.5 million barrels per day, according to MarketWatch. 

You may recall that earlier this month prices spiked on the announcement that Russia & OPEC nations were agreeing to cut production by a combined 1.2 million barrels (here's a refresher: OPEC+ Agreement Spikes NYMEX)

Apparently, Russia has changed its mind. 

Along with the news about Russian production (unconfirmed news, for the record) the US has reportedly been upping shale production by more than what analysts had predicted, and globally, it looks like China is potentially poised for a slow down in demand growth, which is also weighing on prices. 

The EIA inventory reports due out later this week may impact whether the decline backs off or continues. Platts is predicting inventory draws on Crude & Distillates, so if they are wrong, we can expect some more downward movement on the EIA release.... theoretically anyways.  

Stay tuned!

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Topics: Market analysis, NYMEX, russia

OPEC Concerns Trump EIA Numbers to Drop Crude Prices

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 29, 2017 3:32:04 PM

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Oil was down today as the market weighed out OPEC speculation on one hand, and a drop in US Crude inventories on the other.

OPEC concerns seem to have won the day, given the drop in the face of an EIA report indicating a 3.4mmb drop (projections were 2.3mmb drop), some of which is presumably attributable to the Keystone pipeline leak & subsequent supply diversions.

Refined products showed builds of 2.7mmb on distillates, 3.6 mmb on gas. (projections were 230K and 1.3mmb, respectively).

OPEC is set to meet tommorow (Thursday) in Vienna to discuss extending production cuts through the end of 2018. 

The current deal keeps 1.8mmb/day off the global markets via production cuts, and is set to expire in March but a new agreement would extend it through December. The running assumption was that it would be a no brainer to extend, but surprise, surprise, a few days out from the meeting and Russia had not yet agreed on anything. Thoughts are they may argue for a shorter agreement or push for renegotiation closer to the March expiration.

What does this all mean?

The assumption in the market currently has been that the OPEC deal extension is essentially "priced in" already. What that means is that failing a 9 month extension, we could see the recent gains evaporate rather quickly and see crude prices dip, with WTI falling back at or below the $50 benchmark, or even lower than that if there is no deal at all. 

From OPEC/Russia's side of the aisle, an agreement on production cut extension to bolster pricing may be met with continued increase in US domestic production, which could both offset gains and damage their market share in the long view. That position is somewhat supported by rebounding US production levels & refinery utilization rates. 

Last week we saw WTI close out at a high of $58.02, but it has receeded over the past few sessions, closing today out at $57.30. ULSD & RBOB tumbled today as well, with ULSD dropping .0286 to 1.9221 and RBOB dropping .0411 to 1.7309. 

Stay tuned!

 

 

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Topics: CRUDE, OPEC, NYMEX, EIA Inventories

U.S. Inventory Projections Slow Today's NYMEX Losses

Posted by Kelly Burke on May 31, 2017 3:17:20 PM

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The oil markets were down sharply this morning on increasing cynicism that, essentially, global supply will not be driven down sufficiently by either OPEC or "non-cartel" producer production caps, or the summer driving season in the U.S. being upon us (despite the weather here in Boston, technically yes, its summer driving season). 

It would seem that the prior rally was a knee jerk reaction to what basically amounted to a baseless hope that somehow OPEC and other producers would be setting limits that actually addressed the ongoing supply glut, and therefore the lackluster pricing. It was unlikely that would be the case, given that the prior meetings we have seen, despite the hoopla, have also failed to address supply in a meaningful way. 

Despite promising to address the fundamentals involved, we've actually seen some ramp up in production on the part of Libya, Nigeria and Iran - none of which had any sort of ceiling placed on them at the recent gathering. 

We often talk about other countries production as being an unpredictable factor in global pricing & supply, however, it's worth noting that U.S. production has ramped back up substantially as well. Current production is around 9.3 million barrels a day (up over 6% from this time last year) and on the rise.Given this, it's not likely we will see OPEC seriously curb their levels, particularly the Saudi's, as the concern over U.S. encroachment on their market share has been inarguably a major driving factor in the current glut and its failure to resolve. Saudi Arabia has been beyond clear that they are prepared to hunker down and withstand whatever price declines are necessary for market share retention, particularly as concerns the U.S. At this point, it's pretty clear they are not bluffing about that. 

Anyhow - Today, unlike last Thursday's wild plunge,has pared losses as the day goes on, while investors factor in the near term projections on U.S. supply reports (due out tommorow, thanks to the holiday) versus the overall global supply picture.

Platts is projecting a draw down of 3.2 million barrels of crude on tommorow's reports, which would be the 8th week in a row, and definitely helped to stem the bleeding today on the NYMEX by close.

At the close we ended out with Crude at $48.32/bbl, July ULSD at 1.5179 (-.0356) and July Gas at 1.5965 (-0278). 

Stay tuned! 

 

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Topics: OPEC, NYMEX, EIA Inventories

Will Crude Break $30? Will RBOB follow ULSD Below $1?

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 13, 2016 4:14:35 PM

Picture of a man grasping his head looking at computer screens

Yesterday, Crude briefly dipped below $30 per barrel for the first time in 12 years, before closing slightly over at $30.34. Crude was up on the overnights, as a result of the API forecast projecting draws of close to 4mmb.

The EIA report this morning, however, quickly reversed the market trajectory when it showed a build of 230K barrels. A modest increase, but the market registered it as significant in the face of the projected draws - at least initially.

At the close, Crude was essentially flat, up slightly to $30.48/bbl.

Despite the slight edge up today, so far Crude is still down almost 15% since the end of 2015.

On the refined products side, analysts correctly projected builds in gasoline - sort of. The expectation was a build of 1.6mmb but EIA data indicated an astounding build of 8.4mmb which sent RBOB tumbling, especially as it comes on the heels of last weeks 10.6mmb build.

On top of product builds, gasoline consumption is down a little over 4% compared to this time last year, which is also weighing on RBOB. At the close today, gas was down over 3, settling out at $1.0528.

Two weeks ago the debate was would RBOB break $1.10 - now it looks like the question over the next week or so could very well be "will RBOB follow ULSD below a dollar?"

Distillates showed a build of 6.1mmb as well, and this on the heels of ULSD dropping below $1 on the screen, following its drop on the cash markets. Tuesday broke the $1 level - closing down .0248 to $0.9901, and today ULSD shed another 2 to settle at $0.9694.

In addition to the build, distillate consumption was reported as being down 12% versus this time last year, partially as a reflection of the precipitous drop in heating oil usage due to our unseasonably warm weather.

On a macro level, the Chinese economy continues to stumble, and US stocks continue to get battered as they essentially have been since the opening bell of 2016. Today, as of writing, the Dow is down over 300 points, the Nasdaq is down triple digits as well, and the S&P is officially in correction.

Additionally, as mentioned before, the ongoing standoff between the Saudi's and Iranians after severing diplomatic ties ensures that at least for the time being, OPEC production will remain at record levels. Add in the unseasonably warm weather and the drops in demand/consumption across the board, and all of the sudden that "crazy" projection by some that we could see oil in the $20's doesn't seem so crazy after all.

 

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Topics: CRUDE, RBOB, NYMEX, EIA Inventories, ulsd, $30 barrel

Oil Slides on Economic Data, Dragging Stocks Along for the Ride

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 3, 2015 3:02:00 PM

Man grasping his head looking at computer screens

This morning Brent Crude dropped under $50 for the first time in 6 months, and WTI fell below $45/bbl to within $2 of a 6 year low. Shortly after noon, the NYMEX showed ULSD down .0452 cents, and gas down almost 9 (-.0882).

What's going on?

Lackluster economic data out of both China and the US seems to indicate that overall oil demand is unlikely to spike to levels able to compensate for the immense glut of oil we're seeing now. As we've discussed, OPEC and others have kept production at record levels to both retain market share, and attempt to slow production (and therefore competition for market share) by higher cost-of-production nations, most notably, the U.S.

Domestically, S&P Energy stocks dragged that index down in response to falling oil prices. US stock indexes trended downward today across the board on other non-thrilling economic data as well as some major single stock tumbles (Apple, Tyson, Lowe's, etc).Overall data showed consumer spending gains were anemic, labor costs increased, and now we all wait with baited breath for the jobs report due out on Friday. 

Across the pond, the Greek stock market re-opened today and promptly tumbled almost 30%, essentially reigniting concerns about the stability of the Eurozone and the odds that the Greek debt deals in their current iterations will solve the ongoing debt crisis. (They ended up rebounding to cap out about a 16% loss on the day)

The data from China this morning was arguably the main catalyst for the drop today, as all eyes were focused on their manufacturing reporting to show a gain, but it instead showed a major slow down. Chinese economic growth had been essentially the last hope for demand ramping up and stemming the price sliding. Traders and Investors have been looking for signs to confirm their hopes of a positive second half of the year in terms of growth, and today's data essentially put those hopes to rest.

At the close, September ULSD dropped -.0584 to 1.5305, RBOB dropped -.0975 to 1.6745. WTI closed out at $45.17. Last prints for Brent are 49.54-50.17 range. 

Stay Tuned!

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Topics: Greece, Brent Crude, OPEC, NYMEX, Chinese Industrial Output, wti

NYMEX reacts to Projected Crude Draws

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jun 17, 2015 10:36:59 AM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Oil was rising this morning ahead of the EIA inventory report's release. Analysts are expecting to see draws in both Crude and Gasoline. Crude is projected to drop between 1.7 and 1.8mmb. Supplies are still at historically high levels, but the drawbacks are a bearish signal for the market. Just prior to the reports release (10:30am) ULSD and RBOB have both jumped up over 5 cents (.0554 and .0526, respectively.)

Overnight trading was mixed on some fears about supply disruptions due to Tropical Storm Bill, as well as a stronger dollar. 

The Fed concludes its two day Open Market Meeting today as well, and Fed Chairman Janet Yellen is slated to have a press conference at 2:30 this afternoon to discuss the meeting and give an indication on where the Fed stands on raising interest rates. Its unlikely they will raise them now, given some weaker economic data out over the past few weeks, but expect to see the stock market jump around, regardless. 

Stay tuned for how the market reacts once the EIA eport is officially released.

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Topics: NYMEX, FED rates, EIA Inventories

NYMEX Spikes on Escalation in Yemen

Posted by Kelly Burke on Apr 23, 2015 3:04:00 PM

Soldiers on the back of a pickup truck  

(Photo Credit: Dmitry Chulov / Shutterstock.com)

Brent Crude jumped over a dollar at opening this morning, while on the NYMEX, gas and diesel were both up over 4 before 10am. By noon both products surged up well over 5 cents, and products across the board continued to surge upward throughout the day.

 At the close, ULSD settled out at 1.9239 (+.0531) and RBOB closed at 1.9956 (+.0711). WTI closed up 1.53 to 57.69.

So what's going on? 

The Saudi's resumed airstrikes on target cities in Yemen yesterday, one day after supposed peace talks. Saudi Arabia is again calling on the White House to propose a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Long story short, the deal in Yemen is that Shiite Houthi rebels have overtaken the Presidential palace, and if they can successfully pull off a coup, there is a very real danger of serious supply disruptions.

About 4% of global oil supply passes through the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which is controlled by the central government in Yemen, according to the EIA.

Traders are closely watching the situation for any indication of a resolution or escalation because of the potential supply implications involved. 

Yemen also relies on exporting it's own oil resources, which have declined in volume significantly since 2001 as a result of internal fighting. Their economy relies on oil exports to the tune of 60% of their revenue give or take.

Essentially, not only would a rebel coup in Yemen spike oil prices on transport concerns, but would collapse the Yemeni economy and likely lead to repurcussions and fighting throughout the region. 

Stay tuned, and don't forget to fill your car up before the increase hits the pumps!

 

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Topics: NYMEX, saudi arabia, yemen

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