After retail prices touched the highest level since 2014, the crude oil rally has decided to take a breather. Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq have all pledged to maybe relax production cuts because of sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. In addition, Iran is trying to work a deal the EU and China to keep the nuclear agreement in place without the U.S. Higher prices are starting to put a little dent on demand and crude inventory levels rose sharply in the U.S. last week. The U.S. also added another rig to the overall count and increased daily crude production to over 10.7MM barrels/day. And Trump’s talk of continued trade war with China is spooking the hot markets right now. On the bullish side, we are entering high volume driving season and geopolitical tensions with N. Korea and Iran are a bit unsettling. But from true supply and demand fundamentals, a surplus in crude production could be on the way which could wipe out $5-7/barrel on WTI.
Local retail gasoline prices have climbed over 2.84/gallon and diesel prices are approaching $3.19/gallon. These prices are getting people talking and we could not be more disappointed at the timing of these increases. Although based on the previous paragraph, hopefully these are the highest prices for summer and we go down from here.
Propane prices are very steady and we are recommending that everyone fill their propane tanks when they can. Based on inventory levels in the country, we don’t expect to see much of a price drop in propane prices this summer. Next season heating contracts will be out closer to the end of June. Please stay tuned for more info.
Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
Jon Crawford – Pres.
As the WTI crude market continues to remain flat around $70/barrel and retail prices continue to climb, I feel like taking a break from discussing high prices going into summer and instead talk about something positive.
Crawford Oil and Propane has served Portage and the surrounding communities in four counties since 1935. My family has always enjoyed giving back to the communities that have supported our company. About seven years ago, I decided to start the Crawford Oil and Propane “Fueling for Success” Scholarship Program at Portage High School. The scholarships are centered around two values important to our family. One, is the honoring of a student’s academic achievement, and the other is supporting a student’s pursuit of music performance as career.
To honor a graduating high school student’s academic success, I decided to give out a $1,000 scholarship to the class valedictorian. Becoming valedictorian is an achievement that my family knows very well. Both of my older sisters were back-to-back high school valedictorian recipients… I was not… I was close, and graduated in the top ten competing for valedictorian. And I can say with great confidence, that the achievement of valedictorian is under celebrated at scholarship ceremonies. Achieving valedictorian takes four years of intense focus, hard work, and sometimes a little luck. I am proud to acknowledge these students and the effort they have exhausted over the last four years.
In regards to supporting music performance as a career, I decided to give out a $2,000 scholarship payable over four years to any graduating senior attending college with music performance as an intended major. Music is an important part of my family. My parents are very musical and pushed all of us kids to pursue music. In fact, my one sister is a professional violinist. I started my college career in music performance. I also tried becoming an indie rock star. Although I achieved some success, I ended up leaving the pursuit of music as career and now perform only as a hobby. I have been so blessed to follow the music careers of these students during their time in college and they remind me that the dream of music performance as a career is still achievable today, no matter what anyone says.
Since I started the scholarship program seven years ago at Portage High School, I have been able to expand the program to seven high schools. Myself or another employee attend ceremonies and hand out scholarships at Portage, Pardeeville, Wisconsin Dells, Poynette, Rio, Westfield, and Montello. The month of May is our “awards season” and I could not be happier supporting the next generation and the future of our country.
Thank you again, to all of our customers for supporting Crawford Oil and Propane. Without our customers the “Fueling for Success” Scholarship Program would not be possible. Thank you for helping us give back and support the values important to our family.
Jon Crawford – Pres.