China Doom and Gloom Affecting Crude Prices?… Not Just Yet.

Good morning!

Happy Friday! WTI crude prices took a little hit this week. China released less than stellar economic data, cut interest rates, and stopped reporting youth unemployment which has been at all time highs. The news caused crude oil prices to tumble and fall below $80/barrel for a brief second. But the strength of the US economy, the decreasing oil rig count in the US, and the cooperative discipline from OPEC+ to keep production cuts steady continue to support the narrative of tightening world crude oil supplies. In fact, regardless of China’s economy, crude producers seem to be in lock-step keeping production low in order to prop up prices and avoid a massive collapse. As I have been writing, I believe $80/barrel WTI to be the “new norm” moving forward for quite some time. Yes, we might have some dips below $80/barrel. But the timing will be brief as traders hedge bets at those prices which in turn prop prices right back up to $80/barrel. I also believe there is potential for upside price in WTI crude to breach $90/barrel. But for now, we should all start accepting the reality that current crude oil prices will probably remain the new norm regardless of what happens in the world economy.

In local news, diesel spot prices have come down from their highs. Diesel supplies in the US are still very tight and any major disruption in refining prior to harvest could cause a massive increase in diesel prices east of the Rockies. Most people in the industry are keeping their fingers crossed that the harvest is mostly completed before any hurricanes potentially affect Gulf Coast production. Gasoline prices have fallen a touch from their peaks as well. But again, as long as crude oil prices remain strong, both gasoline and diesel prices will hold firm.

Propane prices remain steady going into end of the summer. Although supplies are very high in the country, the appetite for exporting and Canada keeping more propane in house for manufacturing, prices will probably start to climb in Q4 of this year. If we have a mild winter, I also believe suppliers will increase their margin index to make up for lost volume. The action from suppliers will in turn raise the retail price of propane. I highly recommend topping off your tank by the end of September. We are being very liberal with our summer fill volumes.

As always if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call.

Best regards,

Jon Crawford

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