Good morning and Happy Friday!
I hope this email finds everyone ready for the weekend. This week WTI Crude Oil price pushed through $90/barrel for the first time since November 2022. The US economy possibly experienced increased inflation in August, but the cause was mostly due to increased cost in of gasoline as summer finished. The world economy is looking healthy and the potential for a soft landing continues to win out on the news airwaves. In addition, as I’ve said all along, don’t bet against China. China had some commercial real estate issues and a slower than anticipated reopening GDP which caused a panic sell-off in crude late spring. China instituted a full bailout for the commercial real estate and added further stimulus to the economy. Within one month, China is seeing an increase in GDP and their stock market is roaring higher. World demand for crude continues to be strong and the US crop harvest looks to be a fast harvest which puts supply pressures on markets to stay wet with refined products. The supply pressure in turn supports crude oil prices, pushing them higher. I am still convinced that $80/barrel is the new floor for WTI crude and any dip in price below $80/barrel is a great futures buying opportunity. For now, we just sit back and let the market do it’s thing.
In local news, our neighbors to the west are finally calming down on as harvest is on the down slope. However, Chicago Spot is so heavy with diesel that an increase in cost of 30 cents per gallon could occur at any moment in our market. My advice is to keep all your diesel tanks full. It’s not a matter of IF diesel prices in our market skyrocket higher, it’s a matter of WHEN. And I believe the blowout will happen within two weeks. I think when the futures October contract expires at the end of this month, we better strap on our seatbelts for a roller coaster in volatility in the Chicago Spot Market. Gasoline prices have continued the slow grind higher so I don’t expect to see retail prices of gasoline go down at the pump anytime soon.
Propane prices have climbed higher and retail prices have followed. Our board price is getting closer to our contract price to start the winter, even though we have a record level of inventory of propane in the US. I believe higher crude oil prices will continue to support higher propane prices all winter long, especially if the winter is warmer than average.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call.