Crude oil inventories in the U.S. have fallen 23.9 million barrels since the end of April, but, as Bloomberg notes, oil bulls counting on further declines are fighting history. Over the past five years refiners' crude demand has fallen an average of 1.2 million barrels a day from the peak in July to the low in October... "The rough part will be once refineries start going into maintenance,... we aren’t drawing down inventories very fast and the pressure on prices will increase."
As China's deflationary refined product finally hits the world, and leads to a flood of gasoline and diesel across the continents, a curious development is the build up of gasoline tankers in New York City's own harbor...
What follows is how JPM manipulated the silver markets by selling the Silver contango during illiquid hours, then used their deep pockets to push settlements, then waited until margin calls made the large locals puke their positions. JPM in effect stretched the relationship between forward rates and futures spreads until they made no sense anymore. Not unlike a company trading at 50x earnings. It cannot last long. But it only has to last long enough until the guy with the position opposite you has to liquidate.
One particular energy trader - a name well-known to Zero Hedge readers - Glencore, has built up a massive inventory stake in the Brent market where it now holds an unprecedented 30% position in Brent, which it is holding for offshore storage in its tankers in hopes of pushing the price of Brent, and thus the entire energy complex higher, by limiting supply.
“Close your eyes and buy” seems to be the mantra for now. While fundamentals don’t justify a cyclical recovery in oil yet, the market continues to move higher. The primary driving force has been macro funds, index money and CTAs. Technicals and momentum have only added to it, and there is a sense from some of investors that they need to buy for fear of missing out. Similar to 2015, we see a confirmation bias where any bullish data point is embraced outages, weekly US production, etc) and bearish data points are dismissed or spun as a buying opportunity.
"We do not expect the meeting to deliver a bullish surprise as we believe production cuts make little sense given it has taken 18 months for the rebalancing to finally start. In addition, any resolute agreement that would support prices from current levels would prove self-defeating, in our view, as we believe that sustained low prices are required for the nascent non-OPEC supply adjustments to deliver a deficit in 2H16. Finally, a production freeze at recent production levels would not accelerate the rebalancing of the oil market as OPEC (ex. Iran) and Russia production levels have this year remained close to our 2016 average annual forecast of 40.5 mb/d." - Goldman
Large amounts of aluminum traded on the London Metal Exchange over the past couple of years "have at times been in the hands of a dominant position holder." Citing sources at commodity trading houses, warehouses, producers, brokers and banks "one such position holder is U.S. bank JPMorgan."
"The current setup is similar to 2Q15. Back in 2015, a rally in prices driven primarily by a USD pullback led to producer hedging and capped deferred prices at $65/bbl. This resulted in a flatter curve, but it also limited the rally in the front to $60 given the state of US inventories. The current rally mirrors this period in 2015 in many ways, only that producers are willing to hedge at much lower levels. As the USD and producer hedging reasserted themselves, that rally proved to be short lived."
Crude oil production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.9 million barrels per day in 2014 and 2.0 million bpd in 2015. This means that as of this moment, about 550 million "missing barrels" are unaccounted for "apparently produced but not consumed and not visible in the inventory statistics."