Best in Energy – 12 May 2023

U.S. SPR could start refill after June (Reuters)

U.S. SPR refill becomes contentious (Prospect)

China issues new fuel export quotas (Reuters)

U.S. public support for nuclear power (Salon)

Giffen goods and the impact of inflation (FT)

Russia’s oil and the shadow fleet (Bloomberg)

El Niño to cut Thai rice exports (Bloomberg)

U.S. INITIAL CLAIMS for unemployment insurance benefits climbed to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 in the week ending on May 5, the highest since October 2021. Initial claims have been trending higher since October 2022 and more clearly since the end of January 2023 in a sign the labour market is starting to cool:

U.S. GAS inventories rose +78 billion cubic feet to 2,141 billion cubic feet over the seven days ending on May 5. Stocks are +257  billion cubic feet (+14% or +0.58 standard deviations) above the prior ten-year seasonal average. The surplus has remained broadly unchanged for the last 8-9 weeks since early March:

Best in Energy – 20 April 2023

Global refining capacity to surge in 2023/24 (Bloomberg)

EU gas consumption dropped 18% in August-March (FT)

El Niño likely to increase temperatures in 2023 (Reuters)

Germany’s plan to phase out oil and gas heating (Reuters)

Pakistan starts buying Russian crude (Reuters)

EUROPEAN UNION gas consumption was significantly below the prior ten-year seasonal average every month between October and March. In the big seven consumers (Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Poland) consumption fell by -15% over the six-month period, mostly as a result of warmer-than-normal weather and industrial shutdowns:

U.S. JET FUEL inventories have normalised from a large deficit six months ago. Stocks were +0.2 million bbl (+0.4% or +0.06 standard deviations) above the prior ten-year average on April 14, erasing a deficit of -6.3  million bbl (-15% or -2.83 standard deviations) on October 2:

Best in Energy – 14 April 2023

El Niño starts to form in eastern Pacific area

Asia’s refiners switch from gas oil to gasoline

OPEC cites downside risks to oil consumption

China’s crude oil imports accelerated in March

U.S. GAS STOCKS increased by +25 billion cubic feet over the seven days ending on April 7, the first increase since early January, and the largest since early November, as the refill season started. Inventories were +219 billion cubic feet (+13% or +0.48 standard deviations) above the prior ten-year seasonal average but the surplus has narrowed slightly from +262 billion cubic feet (+15% or +0.61 standard deviations) on March 6:

Best in Energy – 22 March 2023

Russia’s oil export prices become opaque ($FT)

Russia’s oil exports find new middlemen ($FT)

U.S. refiners to prioritise future distillate growth

U.S. commercial real estate problem loans ($WSJ)

Central banks’ bond purchases and bank failures

La Niña fades but timing of El Niño still uncertain

Lithium prices slump ($BBG)

U.S./China economic coercion

U.S. BUSINESS INVENTORIES remained elevated in January as manufacturers and distributors struggled to work down excess stocks despite an acceleration in retail sales. Reducing unplanned inventories is likely to take at least another six months, even if the economy avoids a recession, which will keep freight volumes under pressure until the third quarter of 2023: