BRENT’s six-month calendar spread has fallen to a backwardation of $4.90 per barrel (95th percentile for all trading days since 1990) down from $7.60 (98th percentile) a month ago and a record over $15-20 in the first months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The softening spread is consistent with a recession in Europe and China, possibly spreading across the rest of the world, easing pressure on oil supplies in 2023:
U.S. TREASURY yield curve is now more inverted between two-year and ten-year maturities than at any time since September 1981 at the start of the second instalment of the double-dip recession. U.S. interest rate traders anticipate an exceptionally rapid turn around in monetary policy. Such a rapid pivot is consistent with a soft-landing allowing the central bank to unwind rate rises quickly, or because a hard-landing eliminates inflation and requires it to support growth and employment instead:
LVMH to turn off store lighting overnight to save power
Eiffel Tower to turn off lights earlier to save power ($WSJ)
U.K. GAS AND ELECTRICITY consumption has not shown a significant decline so far in response to higher prices. I spent a large part of yesterday trying to find a price response in the available official consumption statistics without success. The charts are below. But there are some important limitations:
Electricity consumption data is only available through June and gas data is only available through March owing to publication delays.
Most of the rise in prices has occurred since April with another big increase scheduled to take effect from October.
Heating demand and bills are lower in the summer months reducing consumers’ sensitivity to prices.
Domestic and commercial consumption patterns have been distorted by the lockdowns in 2020/21 and then re-opening in 2022.
Electricity and gas consumption has been on a long-term downtrend as a result of improvements in insulation and efficiency.
Electricity and gas consumption shows significant annual variation depending on winter temperatures.
Once these factors are taken into account, there is no evidence of a significant reduction in gas and electricity use by households, offices and commercial premises so far. If reductions are going to occur, it will be later this year and into 2023:
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