Japanese Economy Shrinks
February 17th, 2020
Crude oil closed higher on Friday, which was mainly driven by news that Chinese refineries went on a buying spree which alleviated some concerns that the coronavirus now called COVID-19 would dampen world oil consumption dramatically.
Baker Hughes reported that US Energy firms added 2 oil rigs in this reporting week. This is the second week that the rig count has added rigs. Total number of rigs is 678.
The head of Brazil’s oil regulator ANP, Decio Oddone, said the country’s oil exports to China seem to be normal, despite the coronavirus outbreak there. He said he recognizes the worries expressed by participants of the oil market regarding Chinese demand but said he has not heard of any problems to the Brazilian export flow from the companies so far.
Reuters reports that several of the top trading house have rented millions of barrels of storage in South Korea to store excess barrels now after the outbreak of the coronavirus. Chinese refineries have cut their output by 1.5 million bpd over the last two weeks and crude supplies are backing up creating the need to store barrels. The market has also gone into a greater contango, each month farther out on the curve is at a higher price. The market is paying to store barrels as the market is saying it doesn’t need the barrels now but will in the future.
Japan economy shrank at its fastest pace in almost six years in the fourth quarter.
China has said an has already been active in providing monetary stimuli to the market to counter the effects of the coronavirus. So far, they have done a good job, but the question just like with the rest of these market and the virus how long they can keep it up. There are still a lot of unknowns.
The University of Michigan’s survey of consumer sentiment in February increased to 100.9 from 99.8 in January. Its expectations index increased to 92.6 in February from 90.5 in January, while the consumer current conditions index fell to 113.8 in February from 114.4 in January.
The EIA on 2/12/2020 reported that total US gasoline product supplied (implied demand) fell by 211,000 bpd down to a total of 8.772 million bpd for the week ending February 7th. US gasoline demand is down by 2.9% over the past 4-weeks versus last year and down by 2.5% based upon a cumulative daily average versus last year.
EIA reported on 2/12/2020 that total distillate product supplied (implied demand) fell by 391,000 bpd to a total of 3.820 million bpd for the week ending February 7th. US distillate demand is now down 5.3% over the past 4-weeks versus last year and down by 8.4% based upon a cumulative daily average versus last year.