Sep 9, 2005

Watching Oil vs. Gasoline Spread

From the FT:
The US and Europe are releasing more emergency crude oil than refineries in the Gulf of Mexico can handle, reinforcing suspicions that governments are using the crisis triggered by Hurricane Katrina to cap record oil prices.
Data from US oil inventories released on Thursday showed that crude oil stocks had fallen by 6.45m barrels, well below the 13.6m barrels of oil production that by Wednesday had been lost as a result of the hurricane.
This has been pretty well telegraphed with most people being very aware that the hurricane had a bigger impact on refining capacity than oil production. Prior to the hurricane refineries were already being talked about as a bottleneck.

It could still make an interesting situation though as a trader could have been very right and foreseen an inflation spike but still end up being positioned exactly wrong as oil (which has been leading the commodity charge) goes the other way. I don't know the commodity market as well as the credit market but the situation is a bit similar to the wishbone in the automotive sector when the credit downgrade came on the heels of Kerkorian's GM tender.

I haven't been blogging much lately as my views haven't changed very much since early Summer. The continued strength in the equity markets has been at odds with the problems I see so I have done very little. Prior to Katrina I thought the housing market was finally losing steam and leaving little cause for inflation. That is no longer the case as the refining and general transport issues caused by the storm are unknowable at this point.

Got to be one of the more interesting Fed meetings approaching. I lean towards a hike at this meeting.

No comments:

Post a Comment