After heavy selling last week, crude oil prices continue to slide this week. WTI crude prices are set to close below $65/barrel. On technical charts this puts us into correction and possibly a bear market. However, I try not to just watch the charts but also the hard data. The global market is very tight on supply. Any disruption puts the world supply back into deficit. The Iran sanctions have just begun. And right now traders are banking on Saudi Arabia playing nice due to the political fallout from killing a journalist. I am skeptical at seeing these prices hold much longer. I am still anticipating a return in WTI prices closer to $70/barrel. I expect that China and the US will continue to make progress on trade and that the global slowdown being discussed will not come into fruition.
In local retail news, retail prices of gasoline continue to drop closer to the $2.49/gallon threshold. The economics are not quite there, but they will be soon if the sell off continues. Diesel prices have continued to remain more stable due to the increased demand for harvest during this time. In addition, winter blends are starting to be implemented adding anywhere from 3-15 cents/gallon to the cost depending on the additive treatment and blend ratio with #1 ULSD.
Propane prices are remaining stable as we go into winter. I am still surprised by the inventory numbers released on a weekly basis. I believe that with a large demand event, propane prices will spike quickly. All eyes are on the weather forecast which continues to turn more towards a colder winter now than a month ago. Stay tuned.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call.
Jon Crawford – Pres.