Stephen Schork is the Founder and Editor of The Schork Report, a daily subscription newsletter providing comprehensive technical and fundamental daily views of the energy cash and financial markets. Published since April 2005, The Schork Report is geared towards professionals in the global energy arena looking to improve economic performance while managing risk. Further information is available at www.EnergyMarketIntelligence.com.
Schork was a floor trader (Local) in the New York Mercantile Exchange’s energy complex and has more than 18 years experience in physical commodity and derivatives trading, risk systems modeling and structured commodity finance.
A recognized expert in the energy sector, Schork is a regular guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television. He is also frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Reuters, the Associated Press, Platts, The Street.com and CNNMoney.com.
If ever there were a time for natural gas to rally, you would think it would be now. Gas-fired cooling demand in key market areas has been surging since May; a circumstance that looks to remain through at least the end of July.
Back in the June 16th Schork Report we talked about the peculiar action transpiring in the Nymex Henry Hub back spreads. For instance, in between May 06th and June 15th, the backwardation for the key cross-seasonal March 2011/April 2011 spread spiked by 204%. Recall, this was the purported trade that drove a $9 billion hedge fund (Amaranth) into extinction.
In light of the current heat wave that is roasting much of the U.S., cooling demand this season is already drawing comparisons to 2002. For that season, June to August, the average temperature for the contiguous United States was the warmest since the 1930s.
Yesterday the French oil giant Total SA, announced it has suspended selling refined oil products to Iran. The decision by the company was in response to the approval last week by the US Congress to level sanctions against foreign companies that trade with Iran. This is important, according to the latest estimates from the EIA, Iran’s refining capacity is around 1.5 MMbbl/d, but its domestic consumption is closer to 1.7 MMbbl/d.
Earlier this week we ushered in the summer solstice, which also means that the “dog days of summer” will soon be upon us. The name originated with the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians; they believed that Sirius, the dog star, which rises simultaneously with the Sun during this time of the year. In this vein, injections will begin to ebb over the next several reports...
The oil products complex was quiet yesterday on the Nymex in advance of today’s DOE inventory data, but one contract showed consistent strength relative to the others — RBOB gasoline. Its highs were higher and its low prints were less low in relative terms due to surprisingly strong vehicle miles travelled data.
On Friday, the US State Department released a chart of international offers of assistance for the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Outside of accepting minor assistance, the chart clearly shows that the U.S. government has by-and-large, declined international offers to help stem the flow of oil towards the U.S. coast, including vessels. Why?
writes Stephen Schork.