E&P, Refiners` Charts To Watch And Track For The Duration Of The Seasonal Product Inventory Build

Dec. 10, 2017 4:33 PM ETANDV, CLR, COP, CVX, CXO, DVN, EOG, MPC, PBF, PXD, VLO, XOM14 Comments
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Asset class modeling, Macro analyst, Bonds & Equities, Currencies & Commodities

Contributor Since 2011

Robert P. Balan runs Predictive Analytic Models, #1-rated trading unit at Seeking Alpha. PAM trades Swiss HF funds using Federal Reserve, US Treasury, and term (money) market liquidity data flows as basis for trading decisions. He is domiciled in Zurich, Switzerland.

Robert Balan has 5 decades of experience in the financial markets. Education in Mining Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, M.S in Quantitative Finance, and training in Economics led to a commodity analysis career during the commodity boom of the early 1970s. Robert made a switch to global macro focus in the early 1980 when the commodity bull market waned, with specialization in foreign exchange. Robert wrote a very high profile daily FX analysis while Geneva-based (Lloyds Bank Int'l) in the mid-1980s (the first FX commentary with a real global readership, "most accessed" in the Reuters and Telerate networks from 1988 to 1994).

He worked for Swiss Bank Corp and Union Bank of Switzerland (precursors of today's new UBS) as head of technical research in various finance centers (London, New York, and subsequently, head of prop trading at SBC in Toronto ) from the late 1980s to mid-1990s. A stint at Bank of America as head of global technical research followed in late 1990s to the early 2000s. 

Robert returned to Switzerland in 2004 as head of technical research and strategy, and FX market analyst for Swiss Life Asset Management in Zurich. Robert wrote FX analysis and capital markets commentary for Saxo Bank (Denmark) in the early 2000s. He joined Diapason Commodities Management (CH) in Lausanne in 2008 as senior market strategist, and subsequently Chief Market Strategist, utilizing fundamental macroeconomic drivers and structural/technical data in modeling asset price and sector movements. 

Robert wrote a book on the Elliott Wave Principle in 1988, which has been hailed by the London Society of Technical Analysts as best ever book written on the subject. Robert is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), U.S.A. 

Summary

  • A sharp rise in US inventories of refined fuel suggests (even confirms) that demand is falling. Lackluster demand will prevail over the next 4-6 weeks.
  • The next likely market surprise should be a significant fall in refinery oil input, following the decline in gasoline production in the past several weeks.
  • Meanwhile, gasoline prices should continue to fall. Crude oil prices cannot ignore falling product prices for very long, and should eventually fall as well.
  • But subsequently, usually by February, gasoline consumption will start picking up and gasoline stocks will start drawing again.
  • We expect a recovery in oil and gasoline prices, as well as the equities of Refiners and E&Ps, by January-February, rising into March-April (at which time we reassess the situation).

The article which lays out the above thesis in detail can be found here:

Oil Product Inventories May Rise Until January And Weaken Gasoline And Oil Prices; Refiner And E&P Equities Are Due For Corrections As Well

Charts that are critical to the thesis:

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What do these market developments mean for Refiners equities?

Surprisingly, US Refiners` equities do not correlate very well with gasoline prices or with the price of crude oil. Quarterly changes in Refiners equities have good correlation with the changes in Crack Spread 321, and will therefore be subject to the implications of the simple models for gasoline consumption and stock building (see chart below).

However, the best leading relationships one can find for US Refiners equities is with global demand, global consumption, and outlook for US CO&LF demand. The impact of recent changes in net global and US oil demand and consumption is expected to weaken US Refiners`equities in December - January. A recovery from those low points will likely extend gains of E&Ps up to March-April.

Long View: 

Short View:

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What do these market developments mean for E&P equities?

The best leading relationships one can find for E&P equities is with global production and global supply. (I tried US production and supply data, but I get results which are no better than random correlations, and therefore yield unsatisfactory results.) The impact of recent rise in net global oil production and supply is expected to weaken E&P equities in December-January. However, subsequent waning of global production and supply data should trigger E&P equity gains thereafter. E&P sub-sector recovery from those low points will likely extend its gains up to March-April.

For methodologies used in the above analyses, more information is available in this Seeking Alpha article:

"As The OPEC-NOPEC Nov. 30 Meeting Approaches, Global Fundamental Oil Data To Reassert."

E&P Equities: 

A long view:

A short-term view:

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Good luck, everyone!

Robert

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