New York, NY (PRWEB) January 28, 2014
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that Brent crude prices have stayed strong this month. On the week, U.S. products draw while crude stocks build, while in Japan crude stocks jumped. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
Brent Prices Strong This Month
Brent crude prices have stayed strong this month supported by relatively tight global supply-demand balances and low inventories but will trend lower later this quarter as refinery maintenance cuts crude demand, crude supply continues its unrelenting growth in the United States, and supply disruptions elsewhere directionally ease.
U.S. Products Draw While Crude Stocks Build
Surprisingly low crude runs were largely responsible for the first crude inventory increase in eight weeks. They also contributed to a larger product stock draw versus the week earlier. A reported demand increase and increased product imports were also factors in the week-on-week product stock change. This past week's overall inventory change was 1.3 million barrels larger than the inventory decline for the same week last year, thereby widening the year-on-year stock deficit. U.S. commercial oil inventories are declining significantly this January and this has happened just once in the last ten years.
Another Jump In Japanese Crude Stocks
Another relatively high crude import rate produced a crude stock build on slightly lower runs. Modestly higher stock builds were registered on all the major products (mogas, gasoil, naphtha, jet, and fuel oil), though kerosene stocks drew seasonally. Margins were slightly softer with weaker light product cracks overshadowing higher fuel oil cracks.
U.S. Propane Is Continuing To Exert Price Leadership
U.S. Propane is continuing to exert price leadership although developments in the mid-continent are certainly in a state of disequilibrium given high demand for tight supplies. The wide gap to the Gulf Coast is certainly encouraging flows north with the price level leading to demand destruction.
Ethanol Prices and Margins Decline
U.S. ethanol prices resumed their downward trend the week ending January 17 as improving weather in the Midwest led to higher operating rates and reduced transportation problems. Manufacturing cash margins fell as a result of the decrease in ethanol and co-product values.
China Quarterly Oil Demand Monitor
China’s apparent oil demand disappointed in 2013, as growth slowed meaningfully from 2012. Reasons for the slowing were not immediately apparent. The pace of GDP growth did not change between the two years, and physical indicators that can directly be tied to oil demand (such as vehicle sales, ethylene production, and air travel) recorded healthy increases last year. Looking to 2014, the key story for China is an ongoing push for structural reform.
The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.
Click here for additional information on PIRA’s global energy commodity market research services.
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