1. The Contango in WTI Turns Steep Enough to Make it Lucrative
- All the key Central Bank meetings held this week in the United States, Europe, and Great Britain have kept interest rates unchanged, providing a small boost to oil prices, although they failed to reverse the new trend in futures contracts, contango.
- The M1-M6 time spread in WTI dropped to -$1.20 per barrel, the steepest contango seen in the US futures benchmark since November 2020, the last year to see sustained contango in the markets.
- The European futures benchmark ICE Brent is also in contango, but only on the prompt month, whilst the Middle Eastern Dubai contract remains in backwardation, so arguably market sentiment is the weakest in WTI.
- Net positions held by money managers in WTI futures and options have posted nine consecutive week-on-week declines, as reported by CFTC, reflecting the US benchmark’s weakening outlook.
2. Warm Forecasts Depress US Natgas Outlook
- The US Energy Information Administration slashed its Henry Hub forecast for winter 2023-2024, expecting it to average $2.80 per mmBtu for the November-March period, down 60 cents from its previous estimate.
- A warm start to the winter heating season has prompted a revision of the agency’s demand figures as well, with consumption from the residential and consumer sectors set to average 40 BCf per day, 2% below the 5-year average.
- Reflecting continued improvements…