Good morning and Happy Friday!
I first would like to wish all the deer hunters safe travels this weekend and a safe hunt next week. 🙂 This week, WTI crude oil experienced a small “Black Swan” event on Thursday and dropped as much as $4/barrel. Large US retailers released lackluster earnings and weak guidance going into the holiday season. The news spoked many traders to clear positions, book some profit, and maybe buy back in before year end at a lower price. The contagion of demand destruction also spread after Biden’s and Xi’s meeting failed to produce meaningful trade agreements with the US’s largest enterprises. However, the news of yesterday also reinforced the idea that the FED might cut rates sooner. If the FED cuts rates to spark consumer demand, crude oil prices could rally. A weaker dollar, coupled with increased demand would make crude oil more expensive. Regardless, Saudi Arabia is keeping a close eye on the market. Although it looks as if WTI crude oil price will post four straight weeks of loses, I do not see Saudi Arabia letting the price collapse. I still believe there will be one or two more mini “Black Swan” events that could pull WTI crude oil price below $70/barrel for a brief time; even as short as one day. There was a lot of buying/selling liquidity in the market yesterday, so clearly any events such as yesterday will spark massive trade volume. I am still long on crude oil prices for next year, but believe there will be one or two more events like yesterday between now and end of January as traders look to book year end profits and buy back in at a lower hold price for next year.
In local news, Chicago diesel spot differentials finally collapsed and are now lower than our neighbors in the Group spot market. I expect to see retail diesel prices drop in the coming weeks. Gasoline came down a bit as well. I do not expect to see a jump in gasoline prices prior to the holidays. Many economic forecasts are sending signals of weaker travel plans this holiday season.
Propane is truly carving out and skipping along the bottom. Propane prices have not dropped at the same percentage rate as crude. As I wrote in the past, propane is trading at the lowest percentage to crude in years, so the markets are just letting the price of propane catch up to normal crude percentage economics. I really don’t think propane producers are going to produce propane much cheaper this season. Especially with calls for the warmest winter on record…again.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call!