Best in Energy – 17 May 2022

China’s coal futures liquidity dries up

Texas generators tripped and strained grid

Iraq tries to retain Western oil investment

New traders handle Russian exports ($BBG)

Central bank emergency liquidity provision

FOOD PRICES and famine in ancient Rome:

“The price of grain is linked essentially with the concept of ‘famine’. As in the modern world, so in the ancient, ‘famine’ is a concept with class and financial connotations. The lowly and the poor in society had no reserves either of food or money and therefore suffered immediately as a result of a rise in the cost of basic essentials. The rich and upper classes on the contrary rarely experienced actual hunger during a famine because of their financial resources and even private grain reserves. If the shortage of grain persisted, the rich might suffer economically by having to use more of their wealth, or their own grain, but they did not starve. The poor did, not necessarily because there was a total lack of grain available, but rather because the current price of grain had risen beyond what they could normally afford to pay, whether because of crop failure, hoarding or speculation by dealers.” ― The Corn Supply of Ancient Rome, Rickman, 1980

U.S. GASOLINE and diesel prices are much higher than would be expected based on the price of crude alone, reflecting the shortage of refining capacity. Once increases in wages are taken into account, however, the average gasoline pump price of $4.44 per gallon this month is well below the peak of $6.17 per gallon in June 2008. In real terms, prices are only in the 81st percentile for all months since 1994: