New York, NY (PRWEB) February 04, 2014
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that low inventories are currently supportive for oil prices. On the week, U.S. product stocks draw while crude builds, while in Japan crude and finished product stocks ease. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
World Oil Market Forecast
Significant momentum in major developed economies should provide a lift for emerging markets, eventually easing financial market pressure. Low inventories are currently supportive for oil prices. Diesel cracks stay strong for two to three more weeks before seasonally weakening, while gasoline cracks will benefit from a substantial refinery maintenance program. Cushing crude stocks will drain, supporting WTI, while also weighing on LLS, but then back pressure on WTI will occur until refiners return from maintenance. Political risks were balanced in January and PIRA assumes disruptions remain high but will decline in 2014, although it is by no means a sure bet.
U.S. Product Stocks Draw While Crude Builds
Total commercial inventories decreased this past week with major draws in products partially offset by a large build in crude. The drivers behind this week were mostly due to a weather-related demand surge and a crude import surge to over 8 MMB/D for the first time since September (which was also partly weather-related as imports bounced back from earlier port delays). Products drew (and crude built) even with higher crude runs and higher product imports.
Japanese Crude and Finished Product Stocks Ease
Crude runs eased on the week and the crude import rate backed down from 4.2 MMB/D to 3.66 MMB/D. The 1.6 MMBbl crude stock draw was a reversal of the build seen the previous week. Finished products drew 1.5 MMBbls with a modest decline in gasoline and gasoil and more substantial declines in jet-kero and fuel oil. The indicative refining margin was modestly lower with all the major product cracks declining slightly.
U.S. Propane Continues to Lead the NGL Market
U.S. propane storage is at a new all-time period low for the latest week. The weather will remain quite cold with stocks drawing further. The imbalances in the Midcontinent are being somewhat relieved as movements are redirected. The flow of product from the USGC is expected to slow given current adverse trade economics.
U.S. Ethanol Prices and Margins Tumble
U.S. ethanol prices and margins tumbled in January. Higher corn and natural gas prices and lower co-product DDG credits also put downside pressure on margins. RIN prices soared due to uncertainty in the timing of the EPA finalizing the biofuel requirements for 2014.
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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