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Today’s markets: Tropical Storm Harvey is the main event

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Slow moving Tropical Storm Harvey is going to produce heavy rains from Southeastern Louisiana to the Texas Coast threatening Corpus Christi to Houston. This could be a game changer and create a lot of volatility as it is expected to make landfall on Saturday and is on a direct path to refinery row which will have investors reeling with these refineries shutting down.

In the overnight electronic session the October Crude Oil is currently trading at 4815 which is 26 points lower. The trading range has been 4843 to 4808.

On the Natural Gas front today’s EIS Gas Storage is taking a back seat in the wake of worries of what category Harvey will be before landfall as workers evacuating for precautionary reasons. We learned our lesson after it was thought Hurricane Kratina was going to be a non-event. In the overnight electronic session the September Natural Gas is currently trading at 2.948 which is 2 cents higher. The trading range has been 2.953 to 2.917.

On the Corn front the Pro Farmer crop tour showed varying results across the Corn Belt. Brian Grete editor of Pro Farmer and leader of the eastern leg of the tour was quoted, “It’s going to take us longer

To realize the size of the crop. Markets are going to remain on edge for longer this year.” Reported by Karl Plume from Reuters News. And we also cannot forget there are forecast of an early frost forecasted in September which could also ignite a short covering rally. In the overnight electronic session the September Corn is currently trading at 342 ¼ which is ¼ of a cent higher. The trading range has been 342 ¾ to 341 ½.

On the Ethanol front the October contract posted a trade at 1.485 with 7 contracts traded. And is currently showing 2 bids @ 1.470 and 6 offers @ 1.480 with Open Interest at 827 contracts.

— Daniel Flynn

 

The Energy Report: Storm surge

Tropical Storm Harvey has the potential to be the first Hurricane to hit the Texas coast since 2008 and could be on a path to hit directly into the heart of the U.S. “Refinery Row” which equates to about one-third of capacity and running about 7 million barrels a day. One track of the storm has it hitting a cluster of about 5 refineries. Industry sources I am talking to are getting very worried about the track of this storm and while refineries are better prepared for storms than they were a decade ago, and the hurricane is only expected to be a category one, it is hard to not worry about what could be a direct hit.

We are already seeing gas and diesel prices spike in anticipation of the storm. In Texas, they have many major refineries and if they are shut down or flood they could see gas prices soaring $25 cents a gallon or higher. Gas prices have already risen 5 to 7 cents a gallon from yesterday’s lows on strong US demand and the possibility of storm impact. Diesel prices are on the rise as well. Industry insiders are nervous. They say if it hits as hard as they think, it will float tank batteries away unless there full or cabled down. Tank batteries are a group of tanks that are connected to receive crude oil production from a well or a producing lease. A tank battery is also called a battery. In the tank battery, the oil volume is measured and tested before pumping the oil into the pipeline system. Tropical Storm Harvey is going near refinery Row and 5 or 6 refineries could take a direct hit. That could lead to flooding and power loss etc. If we have major damage to two or more refineries, the spike could be even higher.

Oil prices are subdued even as oil inventories fell. One reason was weekly 26,000 barrel increase in U.S. oil production. The lower 48 and shale had a modest jump and a bigger jump happened in Alaska. Yet the weekly numbers have not been jiving with the monthly number so we suspect that production is being overstated. Still a big 3.327 drop in crude supply continues the crude oil supply drain. Cushing, Oklahoma stocks fell by 503,000 barrels and should fall by at least that amount next week. OPEC Imports are falling hard. My buddy Matt Smith at Clipper Data says that deliveries from key suppliers such as Saudi Arabia, dropped despite rising flows from others such as Angola and Libya. After accounting for as much as 72 percent of U.S. waterborne deliveries in March, OPEC deliveries last month dropped to 65 percent, and are tracking even lower so far in August.

US Gas demand rocked last week and gas supply fell by 1.223 million barrels. Distillates rose 28,000.

Bio Fuels International reported that markets respond to US duties on Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel. US soy oil prices rose by 1.8%, while biomass-based diesel fuel credits also gained, following Washington’s decision to impose duties on Argentine and Indonesia biodiesel imports, according to Reuters. The gains come as investors and industry expect an increased demand for domestic supplies following the issuing of the duties, Reuters explains. Washington’s decision to impose duties as high as 68.28% on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia is just the latest development in a controversy which has dominated headlines in 2017. In March, the US National Biodiesel Board (NBB) filed an anti-dumping and countervailing duty petition with the US government, calling for an investigation into biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. In May, NBB testified before Congress on the damage being done by the imports, and in June announced it was considering legal action against Argentina after uncovering evidence 75 million gallons of biodiesel were set to flood US ports. Argentina and Indonesia have strongly challenged the accusations brought against them. In March, the Indonesian government submitted a complaint to the World Trade Organization. In July, Gonzalo Ramirez Martiarena, the CEO of global commodities trader Louis Dreyfus, labelled the biodiesel dumping case against Argentina as “unjust”, and claimed he was confident Argentina would prevail.

Natural gas report today! Look for the five-year average cusion to tighten more.

— Phil Flynn

 

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Tags: agriculture news, ag news, commodity markets, commodities, crop markets, corn, oil
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