Posted in: Opinion,
by Patrick DeHaan on Mar 24, 2010 01:43 PM
Maybe the warm weather is spreading cabin fever, maybe its the return of green grass, or flowering plants. Something has traders obviously oblivious to the real situation, and it needs to stop.
Investors, traders, speculators- take note. Oil is over-valued over $80/bbl. Keep those blinders on if you like, but here is reality. New-home sales hit a new low today, as reported by the government. European debt is driving the dollar to highs not seen in nearly a year, oil inventories climbed 7.3 million barrels, demand remains lower than average, and supply is adequate. Where are you getting your bullish sentiment, dear inventors? Why do you have such faith in rallying oil prices even against the picture I just painted?
Perhaps now that the current administration has a major issue off its plate, it can concentrate on oil markets, and the investors and banks who continue to try and drive prices up against a picture of high unemployment, lower than average demand, and increasing inventories.
To say motorists are extremely frustrated is like calling Godzilla a mouse- understatement of the year. Our latest GasBuddy.com data shows gasoline prices have risen twenty cents on average in the last five weeks. What's changed? Oil inventories have fluctuated, as they do every week for the entire year, as they have for the past decade. It's nothing new. Demand has continued the same patterns it has for the past decade- rising in the spring and summer, falling through the fall and winter. Gasoline requirements may have changed slightly, but we've had many of the same laws for the past decade in regard to cleaner-burning fuels.
The only piece of news that may give motorists some reason to smile is that we'll see prices slowly decline this weekend. This week, wholesale costs and futures have moved lower (and as soon as I say this I can almost bet the reverse will happen), and so we'll see that translate to falling pump prices. It won't be a huge amount, but at this point, anything is better than nothing.
So- back to the topic- bad news sends oil prices through the roof and half way to the International Space Station. It's lousy that good news can't send prices to the Mariana Trench. We've always had events that influence prices, and I can justify small changes, but drastic changes just because commodities traders are feeling good? Come on.