Crude Oil: How Low Will We Go?

Good afternoon,

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.

Best regards,

Jon Crawford – Pres.

Crude Prices Continues to Slide

Good morning,

Crude oil prices continue to slide this week.  WTI crude touched $66/barrel on Tuesday, closing over 11% down in the past two weeks.  Traders have all rung the register and jumped on board believing that Saudi Arabia will make sure that all Iranian crude lost from sanctions will be replaced.  Many feel that Saudi Arabia will deliver on the promise to help diminish consequences over the killing of a journalist.  In addition to the geopolitical climate changes, the world stock markets have been in correction giving strength to a potential slowdown in the economy which is bearish for crude.  I do not feel that crude prices will go much lower.  I feel that at this point the hedge fund money is out of the price.  When you look at the amount of contract positions sold in the past two weeks, the amount purchased in return is minimal.  Therefore, traders are not selling their long positions and shorting crude.  So basically, from a technical standpoint, crude prices are in a “wait and see” pattern until the hedge fund managers enter the market again.

Local prices of gasoline are inching closer to $2.49/gallon.  I expect to see prices continue to fall throughout the weekend.  Diesel prices have not fallen as much due to increased demand for harvest.  Although harvest is going to be very prolonged this year due to the flooding and temperatures, I don’t expect to experience any diesel supply disruptions over the coming weeks.

Propane prices are slowly rising as we get into winter.  The colder than normal October has increased demand.  The major sell off in crude affected propane slightly, but overall, prices are continuing to trend higher.

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

Best regards,

Jon Crawford – Pres.