Headlines around a softening economy and lower refinery runs continue to weigh on crude prices. Economic data is starting to spoke investors as they continue to move money out of long positions on crude. WTI is looking to close below $55/barrel this week. Many firms are lowering outlook for crude prices into 2020 as well. History shows that crude prices tend to stay low during election years as well. As conditions in Syria hold some Middle East tensions, OPEC continues to say they will cut production to keep prices from falling off a cliff. Considering that the next meeting is not until December, I believe OPEC is scared that crude prices could fall through a trap door and collapse. For now, I think WTI crude prices will remain under $60/barrel for the remainder of the year and have a long ways to go before stars align to pop the price out of its current trend.
In local news, Chicago refinery markets are out of refinery maintenance mode and flush with product. Retail prices on gasoline and diesel continue to soften. I expect to see prices at the pump continue a slow downward trend.
Propane prices have leveled off for now as demand is starting to kick in. I think you will see propane prices start to move higher next week with continued cold and crop drying demand.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to give us a call.
Jon Crawford – Pres.