Let’s talk about the weather so far this year (or lack thereof). For the first 12 days of 2020 in our hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we had the 11th warmest start on record. Most of Pennsylvania saw temperatures last Saturday averaging 20 - 30 degrees higher than normal. This is not welcomed news to the energy industry, which obviously loves to sell fuel in the wintertime to keep us warm. Despite the warm start, it looks like cooler-than-average temperatures are on the way over the next two weeks, including the possibility of the first significant snowstorm of the year during the weekend.
As the end of this week winds down and people prepare for the holidays next week, light liquidity will most likely be the name of the game in our energy markets. Light liquidity means trading volume is lower than normal which is to be expected during this time of year. Therefore, the bid/ask spreads are wider. Meaning that if the computer-driven trading houses decide to either buy or sell a lot of volume, the market can move violently in one direction rather quickly. What does this mean for our industry? This means that our customers can be very opportunistic especially if we see a retracement in prices after this rally we’ve seen since the beginning of December.
As many of us are focused on our plans for the Thanksgiving holiday, we need to be aware of market-moving headlines in December that could create a volatile price market – similar to last year. Let’s review some of the events which could present an opportunity to take advantage of market movement and protect your fuel budgets.
As everyone woke up to the first punch of winter weather this morning, as a fuel distributor, it certainly makes us think about the low level of diesel inventories in PADD 1 and the potential impact it will have on our customers this winter.
The bulls are off and running today because there is a bevy of bullish headlines including optimism over a U.S./Chinese trade deal and a missile attack on an Iranian oil tanker.