Phil Flynn is writer of The Energy Report, a daily market commentary discussing oil, the Middle East, American government, economics, and their effects on the world's energies markets, as well as other commodity markets. Contact Mr. Flynn at (888) 264-5665
Oil prices hit a 4 month high on bullish data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) strong global and US demand and the fact that oil products are at a multi-year low. That situation is not going to improve after Hurricane Maria dealt a devastating blow to Puerto Rico and St Croix, wiping out small refineries and oil product storage tanks. But the threat to the rally is the Fed pronouncement that they want to raise interest rates in December, giving strength to the dollar and a downgrade to the Chinese credit rating which will potentially raise future demand conerns. Yet talk that OPEC and non-OPEC may cut back on more production is still give oil bulls a slight edge even though the market fails to officially break out, staying below that upper Bollinger band resistance.
Oil product declines were the big story from yesterday. The EIA report reported supplies of product overall fell to the lowest level since 2011. A big 5.69 million barrel drop in distillate supplies, the biggest drop since 2011, was a major concern as fall grain harvest and winter is just around the corner. This came as even as oil refiners ran the most barrels of oil through the refineries since 2008. The October future rose to the highest closing level since July 2015.
Gasoline supply also took a hit, falling by 2.13 million barrels as gas demand held up better than expected. This contrast though with distillate stocks means that the long ultra low sulfur diesel versus short RBOB gasoline should continue to work.
Even the lager than expected 5.42 million barrel increase build in oil supply was enough to break oil because the number included a big release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that will be needed to rebuild supply of products that overall are at what could be considered dangerously low levels. This offset the fact that US oil production increased again this week by an impressive 157,000 barrels a day. This comes on a news report that oil traders are emptying one of the world’s largest crude storage facilities, located near the southernmost tip of Africa, as the physical market tightens amid booming demand and OPEC production cuts.
Is OPEC and non-OPEC on the cutting edge. Oil ministers from Iraq and Nigeria are suggesting that OPEC and non-OPEC may further cut their output quotas by another 1% to their 1.8-million-barrel cut. While Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said there is no official proposal to cut, he is interested in working with OPEC and other oil producers to stabilize crude prices. The meeting is in Vienna on Friday.
Peak oil Demand? Not So Fast! The Financial Times reports that not only is demand rising for oil, the OECD countries are also driving the world demand for good, old fashioned gas guzzling cars. The FT writes that, “A decade’s worth of efforts to cut oil consumption in industrialized countries is at risk of being reversed, as low fuel prices boost demand and send motorists flocking back to larger gas-guzzling cars.”
Poor Little Dictator. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduros wants to sell oil but not in dollars after President Trump hurt his feelings. Dow Jones reports that PDVSA, the state owned oil company, is asking partners in at least two oil ventures to consider selling crude oil in euros after the U.S. imposed financial sanctions, according to people with knowledge of situation. U.S. refineries have shown they are amenable to idea.
Figures from the International Energy Agency and other forecasters show OECD oil demand, which declined between 2005 and 2014, has been growing rapidly for the last three years after oil prices crashed from above $100 a barrel to about $55 today. If the trend continues roughly 62 per cent of the reduction in OECD oil consumption since 2008 will have been reversed by the end of next year, despite governments targeting fuel efficiency, alleviating air pollution and cutting reliance on foreign crude.
Robust oil use in the developed world, which for years had been expected to decline, just as emerging markets consume more, has cast uncertainty around when global demand will peak. Some energy companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, had warned this could happen as soon as next decade.
Dow Jones report that S&P Global Ratings said it downgraded China’s rating to A-plus from AA-minus, while changing its outlook to stable from negative. The action brings all the three major credit-rating firms in line in terms of their views of the creditworthiness of the world’s second-largest economy. Fitch Ratings lowered China’s rating in 2013, and Moody’s Investors Service did so in May. Oil Demand Worry?
Prosper on! Stay tuned to the Fox Business Network, the only player where you get the Power to Prosper! I am back at the Money Show in Dallas, October 4-6, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. I’d love for you to join me! Reserve your free spot! Call me at 888-264-5665 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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