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Hedge Funds Increase Long Bets Even Further

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Refining margins surge on temporary outages

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- An unusual spat of refinery outages have cropped up in different parts of the world. Unexpected fires have knocked refineries off line in Asia, the U.S., Russia and the Middle East.
- Bloomberg estimates that at least 13 major refineries suffered fires and outages, taking 1.8 million barrels of gasoline and diesel production offline in January.
- That led to a sharp jump in refining margins in Europe and Singapore, with a more modest increase in the United States. Singapore saw benchmark prices rise by nearly half to $7.25 per barrel in January.
- The outages work to the benefit of companies not affected, as rising margins are coming at the same time as inventories fall and demand remains strong.

2. Speculators continue to add bets on rising prices

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- Hedge funds and other money managers continue to pile on net-long bets on WTI, betting that prices will rise further.
- Net-long positions grew by an additional 24 million barrels to 396 million barrels for the week ending on January 24. After a slight pause in the prior weeks, net-long bets are rising…




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