At the beginning of October, we were seeing big drops in distillate prices, gas pricing was falling as well. That changed at the beginning of this week with the conflict in the Middle East. Monday and Tuesday this week had the markets spiking upwards on crude and distillate, with gas staying relatively quiet. Today the markets have calmed, at the time of this writing crude is down over two dollars, distillate is down $.07 cents and gas is down $.03 cents.
Traders continue to weigh the fundamental risk of oil supply with Israel and Hamas at war. Questions remain on whether the fighting will cause disruptions in oil supply. Multiple analysts are also watching Iran’s involvement closely, at this time the U.S. does not have any evidence of Iran’s direct involvement, but should information of their participation come to light, we could expect stricter sanctions on that countries oil which would tighten an already tight market.
Also in the mix are talks between the U.S. and Venezuela. If an agreement can be reached, that would lift some oil and banking sanctions and provide additional crude supply to the market. The volumes of the potential deal remain unknown.
Propane opened the week down slightly, with overseas markets off 1-2 cents. Today propane is holding even. U.S. supplies remain above the 5 year average (see chart below). It is always important to keep in mind exporting, and while the U.S. looks to currently be well supplied, product can go overseas when our prices look attractive to those buyers.
Drying season is upon us, however, with several areas in low moisture to possible drought conditions, it lowers the expectations for a huge need for LP in that sector this season. We are seeing frost in some areas at night so cooler temps are approaching. We are still contracting for the current heating season, if you are interested in price quotes or want to lock in some gallons, please reach out to your Energy Account Manager.
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