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Sat, 27th May 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “peak oil” Tag

OPEC Is Studying The Following Three Options Ahead Of Thursday’s Meeting

Last week, ahead of the OPEC meeting, BofA commodity analyst Francisco Blanch said the oil cartel faced three specific choices ahead of its May 25 meeting in Vienna, when it is widely expected to extend the November 2016 production cut:

  1. First, OPEC could cut production beyond the 1.2mn b/d agreed in December and encourage non-OPEC members to deepen the cuts.
  2. Second, OPEC could increase output aggressively and restart the oil price war.
  3. And third, OPEC could keep the cuts at the current levels for the next 6 to 9 months and hope for oil market demand conditions to improve.

BofA also presented the following table adding the proposed likelihoods of any given choice of action, of which a simple deal extension had the highest probability of taking place.

Oil Market to Balance at Around $55-60/Bbl as Deeper OPEC Output Cuts Expected

Despite the rise in US shale oil production, the expected extension of the OPEC oil extraction caps will provide a moderate support to global oil prices in the near-term, with boom or bust scenarios almost ruled out as the global energy market balances gradually.

Kristian Rouz – OPEC member-states and other oil-producing nations are meeting on May 25 to discuss, among other things, the extension and deepening of oil extraction caps in order to support crude prices and ease the supply-side glut issue.

An oversupply of oil has been affecting the global oil producers since the second half of 2014, when US shale production skyrocketed, proving disruptive to the existing structure of global oil trading.

Even though, according to the Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, all oil producers have agreed to extend oil caps by nine months, also possibly decreasing the current levels of extraction, global oil prices are not expected to post a significant rally in the near-term. The main reason is that the OPEC and non-OPEC oil cuts might be effectively offset by an increase in US shale oil production.

Last year, the US lifted a 40-year oil export embargo, and this February, the US shipped record-high volumes of crude overseas. While OPEC oil cuts have resulted in a decrease in the global market share occupied by members of the energy cartel (most notably Saudi Arabia), US oil started to fill this niche.

Market Mocks OPEC Crude Jawboning; Morgan Stanley Warns Of Risks To 2018 Oil Price

In the clearest indication yet that OPEC jawboning no longer has an effect on markets, and especially headline scanning algos, following numerous headlines from Saudi energy minister Khlaid Al-Falih overnight warning that the oil rebalancing is imminent, and in case it isn’t, it will come in 2018 when OPEC and Non-OPEC producers may extend their production cuts, this morning oil is firmly hugging the flatline after a failed attempt to push higher earlier in the session.

As Bloomberg reports, Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled they may extend production cuts into 2018, doubling down on an effort to eliminate a supply surplus as oil prices continue to drop. 

 In separate statements just hours apart on Monday, the world’s largest crude producers said publicly for the first time they would consider prolonging their output reductions for longer than the six-month extension widely expected to be agreed at the OPEC meeting on May 25. “We are discussing a number of scenarios and believe extension for a longer period will help speed up market rebalancing” the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur earlier Monday, Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said he was “rather confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year and possibly beyond” after talks with other nations participating in the accord.

The Fortune 500’s Fastest Growing (And Shrinking) Companies

Since 1955, Fortune Magazine has released an annual list of the highest revenue generating companies in the US – the Fortune 500. In 2016, the US Fortune 500 companies generated $12 trillion in combined revenue, accounting for over two-thirds of US GDP, and employed 27 million people worldwide.

In today’s dynamic economy, we know some companies and sectors are growing rapidly and others are struggling. We wanted to see which of the Fortune 500 are growing and shrinking the fastest, and which sectors.

In the Craft company database, we looked up revenue for these 500 companies over 2014-16*, and calculated the average annual growth rate in that 3 year period.

We found that only 62%, 309 companies, had positive revenue growth and 38%, saw their revenues decline. Healthcare was the fastest growing sector, perhaps benefiting from the regulatory environment, and Technology came in second, driven by relentless innovation in Silicon Valley. The Energy sector declined the most, matching a steep drop in the global oil price.

Here are the 50 fastest revenue growth companies in the US Fortune 500.

Titans of oil world meet in Houston after two-year price war

The biggest names in the oil world come together this week for the largest industry gathering since the end of a two-year price war that pitted Middle East exporters against the firms that drove the shale energy revolution in the United States.

When OPEC in November joined with several non-OPEC producers to agree to a historic cut in output, the group called time on a fight for market share that drove oil prices to a 12-year low and many shale producers to the wall.

Oil prices are about 70 percent higher than they were the last time oil ministers and the chief executives of Big Oil met in Houston a year ago at CERAWeek, the largest annual industry meet in the Americas.

The ebullience as both sides enjoy higher revenues will be a welcome relief from the gloom of a year ago, near the depths of the price war.

“The oil market has been rebalancing and the powerful forces of supply and demand have been working,” said Dan Yergin, vice chairman of conference organizer IHS Markit and a Pulitzer Prize-winning oil historian.

“The mood will be different this year.”

OPEC Production Cut May Need to Be Extended: Oil Ministers

The oil ministers of Iran and Qatar have suggested that OPEC’s production cut agreement may have to be extended beyond the June deadline, despite an almost 100-percent compliance rate.

The comments come a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported the second-largest crude oil inventory increase in history, at 14.227 million barrels, which added fuel to worries that production cut efforts are not enough to rebalance the market.

Emerging Markets: An Update

  • Press reports suggest that China’s central bank has ordered banks to limit new loans in Q1.
  • Fitch revised the outlook on Nigeria’s B+ rating from stable to negative.
  • Russia announced details of the FX purchase plan.
  • Brazil’s central bank confirmed it will simplify the reserve requirement system for banks.
  • S&P cut the outlook on Chile’s AA- rating from stable to negative.
  • Mexican announced another hike in fuel prices will take place on February 4.
  • Mexican President Pena Nieto canceled a planned meeting with President Trump as tensions flare

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Mexico (+5.1%), Russia (+4.5%), and Poland (+4.0%) have outperformed this week, while UAE (-1.5%), Hungary (-0.1%), and South Africa (flat) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 2.2% this week while MSCI DM rose 1.1%.

In the EM local currency bond space, Colombia (10-year yield -17 bp), the Philippines (-16 bp), and Peru (-10 bp) have outperformed this week, while Poland (10-year yield +18 bp), South Africa (+13 bp), and Korea (+7 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 3 bp this week to 2.50%.

 
In the EM FX space, MXN (+2.7% vs. USD), CLP (+1.1% vs. USD), and ZAR (+0.9% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while TRY (-2.7% vs. USD), HUF (-0.7% vs. EUR), and COP (-0.4% vs. USD) have underperformed.
 
Press reports suggest that China’s central bank has ordered banks to limit new loans in Q1.  The PBOC reportedly emphasized its concern about mortgage lending.  Reports also suggest that it may make some lenders pay more for deposit insurance.  If reports are true, then we would expect the economy to slow as we move through 2017.  For now, China is not one of the major market drivers but this news would clearly be negative for risk and EM.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -27 points

U.S. stocks fell Monday as investors pored over the latest crop of company earnings and deal news. Energy companies were down the most as crude oil prices headed lower. Real estate stocks led the gainers. Traders also had their eye on the White House as President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses and tax foreign goods entering the country.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 27.40 points, or 0.1%, to close at 19,799.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 6.11, or 0.3%, to 2265.20 and the Nasdaq composite index dipped 2.39, or less than 0.1%, to 5552.94.

At a White House meeting early Monday with business leaders, Trump repeated a campaign promise to cut regulations by at least 75%. He also said there would be advantages to companies that make their products in the U.S., suggesting he will impose a “substantial border tax” on foreign goods entering the country.

Energy stocks took a hit as oil prices fell. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 0.9% to $52.75 a  barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 0.4% at $55.28 per barrel in London.

The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 2.40% from 2.47% late Friday.

In company news:

US oil output to rise 1.3% in 2017, EIA says

US oil production has turned a corner after a long period of weak petroleum prices, the government said, with volumes rising for the first time since early 2015.

The Energy Information Administration forecast that oil output from the US will increase 1.3 per cent to 9m barrels per day in 2017, abandoning an earlier prediction of a 0.9 per cent fall.

In the first forecast for 2018 in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, the statistical agency said US crude production will rise another 3.3 per cent, or 300,000 b/d, to 9.3m b/d. Production hit bottom last September, EIA said.

These Are Barclays’ 13 Commodity “Black Swan Threats” For 2017

In a special report by Barclays’ Michael Cohen, the analyst lays out what he believes are the 13 commodity “black swan threats” for the current year, divided into two “shock” categories: supply and demand, split evenly between bearish and bullish.

Investors, Barclays warns, will have to balance the risks of unforeseen macroeconomic shocks and their effect on demand (bearish price) with potential geopolitical shocks disrupting the supply side of the market (bullish price). A tightening commodity inventory picture, especially in oil, will likely exacerbate how the market prices supply risks even if no physical supply disruption occurs.

The potential threats, which range from a trade war with China, to a default in Venezuela, to riots in Chile, all have a common denominator: politics: “we assess several black swan threats to the supply, demand, and transit of commodities that could potentially move markets in 2017. Our analysis illustrates an important point: politics are likely to matter just as much as economics” and not just any politics: “in particular, the new politics of populism and protectionist trade policies have the potential to disrupt global supply and demand assumptions for various commodities.”

Those who have been following Trump’s twitter feed are all too aware of this.

While we realize the futility of “identifying” black swans in advance, something which is by definition impossible, nonetheless here is what Cohen warns:

In 2016, few people predicted a Trump election or Brexit, not to mention that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series or that Leicester City would take the Premier League title. And commodities markets were not without their own set of surprises as well. OPEC cut production with non-OPEC countries for the first time in 10 years. Weather whipsawed natural gas, and Trump’s election inspired a late metals complex rally on the basis of hopes for new infrastructure spending. In fact, when all was said and done, 2016 was a pretty good year for commodities, with the asset class posting its first annual advance since 2010.

Commodity market black swan events come in many forms, and the market may take years or an instant to price them in. Technological innovation caused the US shale gas revolution, the Great Recession caused structural demand destruction, while geopolitical strife has disrupted commodity supplies overnight. We all know that markets will surprise in some fashion in 2017, so we attempt this review to shine  a spotlight on the specific commodity market risks that clients should watch.

Where could the surprises come from: “Watch these spaces: China, Russia, the Middle East and Turkey are likely to surprise the commodity complex in 2017.”

Below is the summary list of the proposed “black swans”

Breaking down the list, Barclays says that generally “it sees risks skewed to the upside in 2017, based on several supply-side risks.”

Given the scenarios laid out below we view supply driven disruptions in 2017 as being more likely than demand side Black Swan events. Although commodity price disruptions may mean higher prices in the short-term there is a risk they result in lower medium-long-term prices. A supply disruption that results in a higher futures curve could result in the sanctioning of new projects or increased producer hedging activity, eventually putting downward pressure on prices in the long-dated contracts. There are, of course, supply-side risks that would be bearish for the market as well, such as higher production from Libya or the Neutral Zone.”

Demand events less likely but more structurally impactful. Given the relative liquidity in global commodity markets we see supply related outages being shorter in duration compared to potential demand side risks. We see demand side events, such as those driven by economic weakness, as less likely but events that would have a longer term structural impact on commodity prices to the downside.

As noted above, the two big categories laid out by Barclays are as follows: