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Refined Products

Recap:  Despite the second week of declines in U.S. production, oil futures fell for the fifth straight week as the global oversupply persists and U.S. production continues to grow. This is the longest streak of weekly losses since August of 2015, when prices fell for eight straight weeks.  Although prices fell on the week, Friday’s trading posted slight gains, lifted by weakness in the dollar.  August WTI settled at $43.01 a barrel, up 27 cents, or 0.63%. Brent for August delivery tacked on 32 cents, or 0.71%, to settle at $45.54 a barrel.

July RBOB finished nearly flat at $1.434 a gallon, for a weekly loss of 1.4%, while July heating oil finished unchanged at $1.372 a gallon, with a decline of 3.9% on the week.

Fundamental NewsBaker Hughes reported that US energy firms added oil rigs for a record 23rd consecutive week.  Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week ending June 23rd, bringing the total count up to 758, the most since April 2015.  That is more than double a year ago at this time when there were only 330 active oil rigs.

Oil Movements reported that OPEC’s oil shipments are expected to fall by 300,000 bpd to 24.11 million bpd in the four weeks ending July 8th compared with the four weeks ending June 10th.

RBC Capital Markets stated that the sudden increase in floating crude storage, despite being uneconomical at present, suggests traders expect oil prices to rally. 

According to Jeffries, as US oil output outpaces domestic refinery demand, US exports must increase by about 760,000 bpd annually through 2021 to about 3.1 million bpd for the market to rebalance. 

As the global oil market worries about an oversupply, declining demand growth in key Asian crude markets is further hampering efforts to restore market balance.  A fuel oversupply in China, a recent demonization in India that has impacted consumption, as well as an ageing and declining population in Japan are holding back crude oil demand growth in three of the world’s top four oil buyers.  The three countries make up 97 million bpd in global oil demand and any fall in demand among those countries will mean lower than expected oil demand growth in Asia, helping to undercut the OPEC-led effort to support prices.  In the latest indicator of a supply overhang, traders said that five very large crude carriers have been chartered in recent days to store unsold oil.  Each VLCC can hold about 2 million barrels of oil, and the five charted for storage add to about 25 supertankers already sitting in southern Malaysian waters. 

Platts reported that the amount of BFOE crude being stored on stationary tankers around the North Sea continues to increase.  S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow reported that there were about 9.7 million barrels of BFOE crude engaged in floating storage operations.  It is up from a previous estimate of 8.5 million barrels. 

IIR reported that US oil refiners are estimated to shut in 168,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending June 23rd, increasing available refining capacity by 26,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR expects offline capacity to fall to 75,000 bpd in the week ending June 30th. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Aug $43.21,up 20 cents

RBOB - July $1.4358,, up 14 points

HO - July $1.3790, up 77 points

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Natural Gas

Friday, June 23rd, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.910, more than a penny above Thursday’s closing price of $2.894.  Ascending gradually out of the gate, prices rose through the day’s opening hour to record the intraday high of $2.940 by 10:00AM.  Stabilizing to trade along the $2.93 level into the afternoon, July lacked any major changes as markets closed higher on Friday at $2.929.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 16 cents; Natural Gas was up five cents; Heating Oil was up one cent; and, Gasoline was unchanged.

New York basis values were lower for the current summer months and unchanged for the next winter season, whereas New England basis values were higher for the current summer months and unchanged for the next winter season.  Additionally, cash prices were lower in both regions.


Natural Gas Glossary

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