Energy Report for January 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Crude futures are seeing gains of over1% in early trading on Tuesday, amid strength in global equities and the closure of Libyan ports due to poor weather.  The Chinese government indicated further policy action to support the economy could be forthcoming, and Eurozone trade data were encouraging. Traders are looking to results of a vote on “Brexit” in the British parliament, as well as to some minor US economic releases for further direction.

Tankers were waiting to load at the Ras Lanuf, Es Sider, Zawiya, Hariga, and Zueitina oil ports in Libya, as they were closed due to bad weather according to Reuters sources. In other news, a Reuters annual survey of 1,000 energy professionals shows they expect oil prices to be anchored near $65-$70 a barrel through 2023. In other news, CME Group and Enterprise Products Partners LP plan to launch and electronic auction platform for US spot crude oil export cargos in March. The first auction will be for Midland light sweet, loaded at the Enterprise Houston Ship Channel.

Reuters reports that China’s state planner said today that it will aim for “a good start” for the economy this quarter, and Chinese state television quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying that the government is seeking to establish conditions helpful to meeting this year’s economic goals. The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, recently reduced reserve requirements – an expansionary monetary policy move.

Crude oil and refined products futures lost ground on Monday, amid weakness in US, European, and Chinese stocks following lackluster economic data releases. Brent crude fell $1.49, settling at $58.99 a barrel, and WTI lost $1.08 to settle at $50.51 a barrel.  Gasoline futures settled 3.69 cents lower at $1.3638 per gallon and heating oil closed at $1.8525 per gallon.  Natural gas futures rallied yesterday, gaining 49.2 cents and settling at $3.591 per MMBTU.

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