Friday, November 21, 2008

Spot Life CL Dec 08 Entire

More news of difficulties in the Chinese economy. More sobering data on the developed economies. The G20 summit yields little. OPEC schedules another extraordinary meeting in Cairo. Lukoil seems to think that Russia should join OPEC in cuts. Pirates! But the true story arc: Demand forecasts down down down. The national oil companies all agree price will fall to $40/b.

If you click on the reported causes table below, it will become legible. (I don't put together all the reported causes for the month in a single table, because I can't figure out how to do that and still make it legible.)

It looks to me as if crude is leading the Euro, but I am only thinking visually here. From October 22 to November 20, the price of crude dropped by 25.7%. In that time, the Euro lost 4.7% of its exchange value for the dollar (interbank).

The super contango just gets steeper. The graph below gives a pretty good picture I think. The price of last month oil (the contract for December 2016 delivery) lost during the spot life of CL Dec 08 $1.93/b. That is a 2.2% decline. During its spot life, CL December 08 lost $17.13/b, or 25.7% of its value. The differential on expiry between front month and last month was $35.19/b, or 70.9% of front month. (Today the differential widened even further, with the differential between front month--now CL Jan 09--and last month at $36.05/b or 72.2% of front month.)

There was a sharp switch of commercials and non-commercials in terms of being net long or short in futures in the last CFTC Commitment of Traders Report (for November 18.) That might indicate support at current prices.

The number of futures contracts on the market dropped a bit in the last reporting period, by about 32,000 contracts. The number of futures and options combined dropped sharply by 520,000, or 15.6%.

Still, the interesting data point to me recently was that Saudi Arabia needs $50/b oil to maintain a balanced budget. Given that financing is expensive and difficult to find these days, what choice do they have but to defend that price level?

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