- Oil prices still on defensive
May 14 2013 8:54 AM
Oil prices are drifting lowering in overnight trading as the bearish fundamental outlook continues to weigh on prices. Both Brent and WTI have declined for the last several trading sessions with both now back into a new lower trading range. Although the IEA did not lower its oil demand forecast (see below for the highlights from today's report) it did paint a bearish picture on the supply side indicating that the market is biased to the oversupplied side of the equation. The short to medium term fundamental outlook remains the same… oil demand is faltering, supply is robust and growing and US crude oil inventories are at the highest level since the 1930's.
- Brent Steadies on Hopes of US Recovery
May 14 2013 8:48 AM
Brent crude oil neared $103 on Tuesday as hopes that the US economy was getting back on track countered the commodity's losses due to waning demand. Brent traded steadily at $102.92 at 6:12 GMT on Tuesday morning. The commodity suffered losses on Monday after Chinese refineries dropped their processing to an eight month low. Businessweek reported that the nation's refining slipped to 9.36 million barrels per day, eight percent lower than December's record. China's apparent oil demand also fell to an 8 month low in April and reconfirmed concern about the nation's lack of recovery.
- CFTC Investigating Commodities Markets
May 14 2013 1:25 AM
The CFTC is investigating the legitimacy of more than 1 million energy and metals transactions by the biggest traders.
- Oil prices lower on China data
May 13 2013 8:39 AM
Overnight the economic data out of China was yet another sign that the main economic and oil demand growth engine of the world is slowing. China's factory output growth for the month of April came in below expectations. China's April industrial output increased to 9.3 percent in April but below the 9.5 percent market consensus. Fixed asset investment also came in below the expectations growing by 20.6 percent in the first four months of 2013 compared to the same timeframe last year. The market was expecting a growth rate of 21 percent.
- Brent Under Pressure From Chinese Data
May 13 2013 8:34 AM
Brent crude oil ended last week on a low and settled at $102.94 at 7:42 GMT on Monday morning. The commodity suffered after implied oil demand and refinery crude in China fell and added to suspicion that the number two oil consuming nation's economy was still struggling.
- Will Oil Futures Stop the Fed’s QE Program?
May 13 2013 8:11 AM
The sell-side analysts and economists are reminding retail investors that risk assets in the United States have been on quite a tear to the upside recently. A correction now lasts a matter of days, if not hours before the bulls push equity prices even higher.
- Oil prices on the defensive
May 10 2013 8:38 AM
Although it looks like the oil market is heading for its third weekly gain in a row the market has been retracing in overnight trading. The spot WTI contract remains above its breakout level of $95/bbl which was breached earlier in the week while the rest of the complex is hovering very close to it range support level. The oil complex remains in a battle between faltering oil demand growth and the support coming from the very easy monetary policies in many areas of the global economy.
- Brent Remains Near $104 on Mixed US and Chinese Data
May 10 2013 8:28 AM
Brent crude oil traded steadily near $104 on Friday morning as mixed signals kept the commodity trading in a tight range. Brent traded at $104.11 at 8:05 GMT on Friday morning after positive US data gave the commodity a lift, but uncertainty in China kept a lid on prices.
- Oil prices starting the session lower
May 09 2013 8:38 AM
Oil prices are drifting lower after a positive trading session in WTI on Wednesday. Although WTI traded in positive territory throughout most of Wednesday's session the rest of the complex struggled to add gains. WTI gained on the back of a lower than expected build in US crude oil inventories along with the third week in a row of declines in Cushing inventories. That said the overall oil fundamentals remain bearish with crude oil stocks still at all-time record highs. In addition there is no sign that global oil consumption is likely to go through a sudden growth spurt anytime soon.
- Global Demand Outlook Brightens for Brent
May 09 2013 8:29 AM
Brent crude oil traded steadily near $104 on Thursday after positive data chipped away at demand outlook concerns. The commodity traded at $103.75 at 8:14 GMT on Thursday morning. Gains from positive jobs data have been maintained as the rest of the world contributed to an improving demand outlook sentiment.
- Will Zambia Husk Its Corn Meal Subsidies?
May 09 2013 5:23 AM
President Michael Sata's government could slash subsidies to corn millers as it cuts back on the expenses.
- Oil prices lower ahead of EIA inventory report
May 08 2013 9:01 AM
The oil complex has been drifting lower since the middle of yesterday's trading session as supply gains along with faltering oil demand continue to weigh on the market. The API reported a build in both crude oil and distillate fuel stocks setting the stage for similar builds in the more widely followed EIA inventory report due out at 10:30 am this morning. As I have been discussing in the newsletter for weeks oil fundamentals remain biased to the bearish side as supply is projected to continue to outstrip global demand in the second quarter (see summary of latest EIA STEO report below) resulting in global inventories moving into a building pattern. With most of the macroeconomic indicators still projecting that the global economy is sluggish at best there are no signs that oil consumption is going to enter into a growth spurt anytime soon. Rather oil demand is projected to be lower going forward as compared to the forecasts that were issued just last month. Simply put there is a shortage of oil demand and a growing oversupply of oil coming from non-OPEC countries like the US.
- Brent Steady Above $104 on Chinese Import Data
May 08 2013 8:45 AM
Customs Data from China showed that refiners were taking advantage of low prices in April as the number two oil consuming nation's imports rose 3.5 percent from March's figures. The data gave Brent prices a lift, but the commodity remained under pressure from global demand worries. China's increase in imports came after the nation's first quarter crude imports fell a disappointing 0.9 percent and caused many to wonder about the pace of China's economic recovery. However, the growing imports could be the result of savvy inventory building rather than increased demand.
- Oil prices drifitng lower
May 07 2013 8:52 AM
More stimulus arrived in the developed world overnight with the Australian Central Bank announcing a surprise 25 basis point reduction in short term interest rates to a record low. The RBA has lowered its short term interest rate seven times since the end of 2011. The RBA joins the US, UK, Japan and EU in its aggressive easy monetary policy as most of the developed world remains mired in a sluggish economic growth pattern. The aggressive monetary programs are serving to try to ramp up economic growth but are also providing a floor on most risk asset markets along the way.
- Brent Settles Below $105 on Profit Taking
May 07 2013 8:43 AM
Brent crude oil rose to its highest in nearly a month on Monday after geopolitical worries overcame demand concerns and lifted crude prices. However, profit taking pushed the commodity downward to settle at $104.95 at 5:55 GMT on Tuesday morning.
- Nat Gas futures trading either side of $4/mmbtu
May 06 2013 11:50 AM
The battle rages in the Nat Gas markets as spring like weather is projected to be on the way which should result in an increase of inventory injections on one hand. On the other side of the battle price support coming from the fact that total Nat Gas inventories are well below last year and modestly below the more normal five year average for the same timeframe. The bearish view won out over the latter part of last week after the weekly inventory report showed a larger than expected injection into inventory. So far this morning the spot futures contract is in a bit of a stalemate as the June Nymex futures spent time in the high $3's and is now (as of this writing) back above the technical and psychological $4/mmbtu level.
- Brent Bounces on Escalating Syrian Conflict
May 06 2013 11:44 AM
Geopolitical tension outweighed uncertain growth prospects and Brent crude oil rose to its highest level since April 11th early on Monday. The commodity settled at $104.54 at 7:37 GMT on Monday morning.
- New Wyoming Lithium Deposit could Meet all U.S. Demand
May 03 2013 9:23 AM
The U.S. currently imports more than 80% of the lithium it uses, with the silvery metal winding up in batteries from cell phones to electric cars. According to a United States Geological Survey publication on lithium, “The only commercially active lithium mine in the United States was a brine operat ion in Nevada. The mine’s production capacity was expanded in 2012, and a new lithium hydroxide plant opened in North Carolina. Two companies produced a large array of downstream lithium compounds in the United States from domestic or South American lithium carbonate, lithium chloride, and lithium hydroxide. A U.S. recycling company produced a small quantity of lithium carbonate from solutions recovered during the recycling of lithium ion batteries.”
- Oil trading either side of unchanged
May 03 2013 8:35 AM
The battle between a weakening fundamental picture for the oil complex against the very aggressive easy monetary policy in the US, Japan, UK , Europe and even India are creating a choppy and volatile short term trading pattern. Yesterday's rally in the oil complex was actually led by WTI even after the EIA reported a surge in crude oil inventories pushing the total level to an eighty two year high. Certainly Thursday's move was all about the massive amount of liquidity that is hitting the market by the aforementioned Central Banks offsetting the slowing oil demand growth scenario… at least for the moment.
- Nat Gas prices slightly higher to start the session
May 03 2013 8:27 AM
Nat Gas futures are starting the last trading day of the week where it left off on Thursday… struggling to go higher. The spot futures contract actually breached a second support level ($4/mmbtu) in overnight trading but has subsequently moved slightly above the support area as of this writing. Yesterday's EIA inventory report was simply bearish and very disappointing to the growing number of bulls that have entered the market over the last few months. The latest winter surge in Nat Gas demand may finally be coming to an end as the colder than normal spring temperatures may be stating to move more toward real spring like weather and thus a period of lower Nat Gas demand.