The IEA (International Energy Agency) is now very worried about the impact of today’s high oil prices on the global economy. Their chart above highlights the problem for the USA and EU. If oil prices average $100/bbl in 2011, then the EU (green column) will be paying more for its oil imports than in 2008, […]
Tag Archives | OPEC
‘Budgeting for Uncertainty’ seemed the best title for the blog’s new White Paper. And already developments in the Middle East are suggesting this could have been a wise decision. As the above chart of average annual oil prices shows, the 1970 oil price was just $1.80/bbl in nominal terms (blue dotted line), equal to $9.94/bbl […]
Recent days have seen some signs that the tectonic plates under current chemical and polymer markets may be starting to shift. The most important has been the rapid rise in inter-bank lending rates in Shanghai. As the chart shows from Petromatrix, these have begun to rocket. A year ago, the rate at which banks could […]
The blog has gained important support for its view that oil prices are too high. and threaten the current economic recovery. In an interview with the Financial Times, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, has spelled out its view that “oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global […]
The obvious is rarely a winning strategy in commodity markets. Too many players have inside knowledge to allow anyone to profit from their own position. But now and again, interesting trends do emerge from following how the major players are positioning themselves. Thus the above chart from Petromatrix provides a valuable insight into the different […]
Last week, the blog repeated its warning that crude oil was preparing for a big move, either up or down. And prices then jumped 7%, to a two-year high of $87.49/bbl. So the ‘triangle formation’ proved its predictive power again. As the above chart shows, from Petromatrix, the driver behind the move was the Large […]
Oil markets are now in their longest-ever period of contango. This is when prices for future months are higher than current levels. According to Bloomberg, they have now been in contango for a record 656 days. Keeping a barrel of crude in a tank on land costs 60 – 70 US cents/month, whilst hiring a […]
Oil markets are an accident waiting to happen for the chemical industry. Oil inventories around the world are close to record levels, with the IEA (International Energy Agency) reporting they are over 61 days of demand. Equally, as the Petromatrix chart above shows, they are at record levels in the USA (the world’s largest market), […]
The chart above, from the insightful Petromatrix report, highlights the on-going divergence between the bullish sentiment driving prices, and the fundamental reality of crude oil markets. It totals US stocks of crude oil and the main products (gasoline, distillate and jet kero), by year. And it shows very clearly that stocks in 2010 (red line) […]
OPEC’s meeting wrapped up quickly yesterday, with Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi once again saying oil prices today were “beautiful“. This highlights sentiment’s ability to take prices in the opposite direction to fundamentals. For certainly, on fundamentals, OPEC should have had a difficult session: • Quota compliance is now down at c50%, with Bloomberg estimating […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.