1. Spending on electricity surpassed fuels
- For the first time since 1960, U.S. consumers spent more on electricity than they did on gasoline and other fuels.
- The shift is the result of the plunge in spending on fuel (from reduced mobility) and a sharp increase in spending on electricity.
- In April, Americans spent 1.65 percent of their personal income on electricity, and 1.14 percent on fuels.
- The shift is not permanent, but as EVs spread over time, more spending will be allocated to electricity relative to fuels.
2. Refineries hit hard in Europe
- A slew of refineries in Finland, France, and the Netherlands are slated for closure as the downstream market continues to suffer.
- For September, refineries in Europe likely operated 25 percent below capacity, according to IHS Markit.
- Meanwhile, the fuel mix is also causing problems. Gasoline demand has rebounded, but with jet fuel far below pre-pandemic levels, distillate margins have collapsed. Refiners churn out both fuels when they process, exacerbating the distillate glut.
- “It’s very difficult for anyone to make money when diesel cracks are at this level,” UBS Group AG analyst Henri Patricot, told Bloomberg. “We continue to see a demand recovery, but it has slowed.”
- Diesel’s premium to Brent crude fell to just $4 per barrel, just off of a nine-year low hit in mid-September.
3. Wheat and corn prices…