Displaying items by tag: crude oil

Friday, 29 March 2024 03:47

What Analysts Got Wrong About Oil

Oil prices have continued to defy Wall Street analysts. Last year, the consensus view was that prices would weaken as the US economy slipped into a recession, with the rest of the world facing a sharper contraction in economic growth. While growth did slow, the US economy continued to expand, and global oil demand increased more than expected. In Q1, the IEA upped its forecast for US oil demand by 110,000 barrels per day due to stronger than expected economic data. 

Additionally, despite predictions from EV boosters, there has been no material impact on oil demand from increased adoption. Similarly, China’s economy has been mired in a slump, yet Chinese oil demand also defied expectations and increased more than expected. In fact, a major lesson of the post-pandemic period is the inelasticity of oil demand. 

On the supply side, US production also surpassed forecasts and made up for any production cuts from OPEC. A major factor is increasing well productivity due to newer drilling techniques. 

Looking ahead, many were skeptical that OPEC+ would remain disciplined, given individual countries’ incentives to increase revenues by boosting production. So far, the cartel has managed to successfully reduce production, which is contributing to the current tight market and a major factor in oil’s upward move YTD. 


Finsum: Last year, many analysts got it wrong when it came to oil. Overall, they were too bearish on the economy and overestimated how much a weak economy would impact oil demand. 

Published in Eq: Energy
Friday, 15 March 2024 04:08

Gasoline Prices Expected to Rise

Lower energy prices have provided some relief for consumers over the last few months. However, this could be changing with demand set to increase as we enter the start of driving season which is due to be exacerbated by refinery outages in many parts of the country.

 

Over the last month, gasoline prices are about 5% higher but still slightly down relative to last year at this point. Higher energy prices negatively impact consumer confidence and discretionary spending but also feed into inflationary pressures. In last month’s CPI report, higher energy prices was a major factor in the hotter than expected readings. Additionally, they have political implications given elections in November.

 

According to analysts, the situation is likely to get worse before its gets better. Gasoline inventories are lower than normal, following a 5.7 million barrels decline last week, and are now 3% below their average levels for this time of the year. Inventories could continue to be drained as refineries have been running below 87% capacity for the last 8 weeks. Adding to these issues is recent drone strikes on Russian refineries by Ukraine.


Finsum: Gasoline prices have been rising due to refinery issues. The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better as we enter summer driving season, and inventories have been drawn down more than expected. 

Published in Eq: Energy

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