Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CL Nov 08 Spot Life (wk 2)

The reported causes for the seven day's worth of trading is pretty much all about the financial crisis. Two things worth noting in terms of watching the traditional fundamentals of oil pricing.

1) OPEC appears very nervous. Nearly every day another OPEC governor or other government representative makes public remarks about re-balancing the market. Saudi Arabia remains the decider, but supply capacity may be tight enough even in the declining demand environment that another member could influence price by cutting production significantly. Certainly if all members but Saudi Arabia decided to do so they would have an effect. They are unlikely to do so, and many analysts think that the demand destruction is so substantial in the OECD (and with supply coming online from Baku-Ceyhan the shut in of which was volumetrically similar to the hurricanes in the Gulf) that OPEC will have moved to protect prices far too late. Hard to tell, but it looks like most ministers are very upset and that a serious cut might ensue come November 18th at the emergency meeting.

2) There is a large movement of jet fuel from Asia to the West. That means less demand for it in Asia which should be an indicator of a significant drop in demand for Asian products from the rest of the world. There are reports of considerable drop in demand for product imports from China. But that comes on top of a 46% month over month increase in demand for crude imports. Hard to figure what that will mean for the market as a whole, though it seems sentiment at this time is still negative on crude prices (and the commodity complex as a whole.)

CL Nov 08 contract vs the Euro Dollar interbank exchange rate:

Forward differentials are widening even further, from about $6-7/b between the front month and December 2016 to about $10/b. There might be a technical trading reason for this ... it might suggest that resistance to the price decline is building, on the other hand.

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