Okay, I will admit it! I have a fear of Thanksgiving. Not so much about being fearful of pilgrims, or turkeys, or even the Chicago Bears game; but a fear of the annual oil price massacre or the ghosts of Thanksgivings past, says Phil Flynn of the PRICE Futures Group.
Yes, I know. This year may be different. Biden's big SPR release is already being laughed off by the market. Not only is the total amount of oil barely enough to cover a few hours of global demand, it is also because of the amount of high sulfur sour crude that will have hardly any impact on lowering the gas price, and will most likely end up being exported to India and China. I also know that the global oil markets are still undersupplied by around 2.0 million barrels a day, despite this stupid and futile effort to try to manipulate global oil prices and Biden’s sinking poll numbers.
No, my fear of Thanksgiving comes from its past. The holiday has had some notorious moves the past few years. Light volume and crazy computers and oil cartels that have no real respect for American holidays. The year 2018 was most notably known as the “Thanksgiving Day Oil Massacre," when oil plunged 8% in one session, including an intraday high-to-low range of $73.56 to $65.69 after OPEC decided to declare a production war to intentionally crash the price of oil in an attempt to drive US "frackers" out of business. People now realize that OPEC was shooting themselves in the foot and almost bankrupted themselves in their attempt to level the playing field. Who knew then that in the future we would have a President whose appointees would be rooting for US frackers to go out of business? Go figure.
Yet, if you can put those nightmares out of your mind, the reality is that oil is most likely very close to the low price for the year. It successfully held key support below $75.00, and that level should hold and be strong support from here on out. The main risk to that bottom continues to be a large covid shutdown or some other financial black swan event. If you can look past the fear of Thanksgiving, this is the time to start to buy. Ok, another admission. I do fear the Chicago Bears game.
We also expect that both gas and diesel prices are near their lows. We expect that demand will be very strong going into the holidays, and the big thing we have to worry about is whether or not we start to see demand destruction.
Natural gas is looking at a polar vortex that may or may not make it cold. EBW Analytics reports that over the past twelve months, the natural gas front-month contract gained in eleven of the twelve final settlement sessions. The price inelasticity of natural gas supply and demand drove the September, October, and November contracts to gain an average of 49¢ as they rolled off the board. Similar fireworks are possible later this week. While short-term volatility may lead to wild price action, from a fundamental perspective, a bearish weather shift has lifted the end-of-March storage trajectory above 1,450 Bcf—increasing the likelihood that NYMEX gas will slip from seven-year highs over the next 30-45 days.
Learn more about Phil Flynn by visiting Price Futures Group.