Today’s reports are Cattle on Feed and Milk Production at 2:00 P.M. Central. Word on the city streets is that farmers in certain areas are getting in the field. And global investors are wagering that the U.S. Farmer will beat Old Man Winter. It is still too early to tell because as are recent reeducation, “It is not nice to fool Mother Nature”, and next we will be talking a bumper crop. This is going to be an interesting year with geo-political and global weather concerns that may leave a food shortage as emerging markets must feed their people. In the overnight electronic session the May Corn is currently trading at 380 which is 2 cents lower. The trading range has been 381 ¾ to 379 ¼.
On the Ethanol front we had activity in the market last night we rollovers stretching to waking up the July contract as reality of the summer driving season is fast approaching if you can believe that. In the overnight electronic session the May Ethanol is currently trading at 1.502 which is .006 lower. The trading range has been 1.510 to 1.502. 20 contracts changed hands and Open Interest dwindled to 664 contracts. The market is currently showing 2 bids @ 1.501 and 1 offer 1 offer @ 1.504.
On the Crude Oil front prices dipped after President Donald Trump tweeted high Crude Oil prices, “Will not be accepted’, after OPEC and non-OPEC countries committed to further extend production cuts. In the overnight electronic session the June Crude Oil is currently trading at 6798 which is 35 points lower. The trading range has been6866 to 6761. I do expect this market to seek higher prices today and premiums to soar in Spring and Summer.
On the Natural Gas front the market is gaining strength after the selloff on yesterday’s bullish EIA Gas Storage number and the market failed. In the overnight electronic session the May contract is currently trading at 2.685 which is 2 ½ cents higher. The trading range has been 2.686 to 2.658.
— Daniel Flynn
The Energy Report: Virtual oil reality
Oil bear must face virtual reality as OPEC says that the global oil glut is “virtually” gone. Now there are reports that the Saudi oil minister Khalid al Falih wants to reduce stockpiles even further. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is on board saying that Russia was committed to a deal on cutting oil supplies until the end of 2018, no matter what. The biggest oil glut of all time that was close to 380 million barrels over the five-year average, has dwindled to a mere 12 million barrels, which is just about 8 hours of daily oil consumption. The glut is virtually gone and while OPEC is happy President Donald Trump is not.
President Donald Trump tweeted ”Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” What he will do about it is a different question.
Still Khalid Al-Falih complains that oil inventories are still above where they were before the downturn, “The inventory drawdown needs to continue” but “we are not decided yet on precisely what is the target.” He says that Saudi Arabia maintain 1.5-2 mil barrel a day of spare capacity, but others must help. “The kingdom cannot take on the burden singlehandedly. We expect other countries to work with us to reciprocate the burden that the kingdom maintains on behalf of the industry.”
Yet, it is not just OPEC that has erased the glut. It has really been a demand story that has driven prices, we believe that major reporting agencies have been underestimating demand and demand growth. We believe that global demand is above estimates. Next year that demand growth should continue. We should see growth of well over 2 million barrels of oil a day, an amount that shale oil producers will be hard pressed to raise production anywhere near those levels. Even then, there could be growing logistical issues and the light quality of the oil will keep us hard pressed to meet demand.
WTI oil has weakened versus Brent after Genscape reported a rebound in Cushing Oklahoma stocks. Oil could surge if OPEC and Non-OPEC announces an extension and even now the market is hoping for it, though it probably won’t happen today. If they do announce an extension, it is not really expected. Rig counts may give us a jump either way but there is still “the not wanting to be short over the weekend” trade.
This comes as Reuters and the Wall Street Journal report that hedge funds have never been more bullish on oil. The Journal reported that hedge funds and other big money managers increased their net-long position—a bet on rising prices—in Brent to the highest level since records started in 2011, according to data from Intercontinental Exchange Inc. Bets on West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil price gauge, are also near a record, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Some worry that may mean the oil is ripe for a correction. Others believe that the funds have got it right as they see the historic supply slide continuing and global demand rising. Natural gas saw a draw of 35 bcf’ s as winter weather caught the supply side by surprise. Yet even with the bullish drop Nat Gas struggled as we may see some spring weather start to kick in. Thank God!
— Phil Flynn
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