Energy Market Update – December 12, 2023

Chinese refiners demand for Saudi Aramco crude oil for January is the lowest in five months. Higher than expected prices prompted buyers to look for cheaper supply. About 40 million barrels were nominated by Chinese refiners for January loading, this is down from about 46 million for December, trading sources said. This is the lowest nominated volume since August.

Sellers of sanctioned oil from Russia and Iran are hiking offer prices to China after Venezuelan crude rallied, after the suspension of US sanctions on the South American producer. Washington’s 6-month sanctions waiver on Venezuela has intensified competition for the OPEC producer’s heavy oil. Raising prices and reducing supply to top buyer China. As a result, some of the independent refiners in China have started to look for the next cheapest oil. Which is currently Russia and Iran.

Many analysts believe May is when the first reduction of interest rates by the Federal Reserve will take place. Even with a stronger than expected U.S labor market. Same with last week’s data of the economy adding 199,000 jobs and unemployment rate falling to 3.7%. The U.S. central bank is expected to keep rates at 5.25%-5.50% range when it meets for the final meeting of the year on Wednesday.


Propane has traded in a tight pattern for quite some time. There is very little news that seems to be affecting it. The next 8–14-day window is forecasting above average temperatures for a significant portion of the US through the end of December. Couple that with very healthy inventories and you get as to why not much movement is being seen. We are still offering contracts if you need any gallons for this heating season. Please reach out to your Energy Account Manager with any questions.

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