• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 9 hours GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 6 days Does Toyota Know Something That We Don’t?
  • 6 days World could get rid of Putin and Russia but nobody is bold enough
  • 4 hours America should go after China but it should be done in a wise way.
  • 8 days China is using Chinese Names of Cities on their Border with Russia.
  • 9 days Russian Officials Voice Concerns About Chinese-Funded Rail Line
  • 9 days OPINION: Putin’s Genocidal Myth A scholarly treatise on the thousands of years of Ukrainian history. RCW
  • 9 days CHINA Economy IMPLODING - Fastest Price Fall in 14 Years & Stock Market Crashes to 5 Year Low
  • 8 days CHINA Economy Disaster - Employee Shortages, Retirement Age, Birth Rate & Ageing Population
  • 9 days Putin and Xi Bet on the Global South
  • 9 days "(Another) Putin Critic 'Falls' Out Of Window, Dies"
  • 10 days United States LNG Exports Reach Third Place
  • 10 days Biden's $2 trillion Plan for Insfrastructure and Jobs
Maersk Tumbles as Red Sea Crisis Stings

Maersk Tumbles as Red Sea Crisis Stings

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world's…

ETF Frenzy Pushes Bitcoin to Highest Levels Since 2021

ETF Frenzy Pushes Bitcoin to Highest Levels Since 2021

Bitcoin's surge past $50,000, driven…

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Taking a voyage across the world of energy with ClipperData’s Director of Commodity Research. Follow on Twitter @ClipperData, @mattvsmith01

More Info

Premium Content

Someone is Always Making Money Somewhere

Regardless of whether a market is moving up or down, there is always someone making money somewhere. There are various examples every day – be it a billionaire selling a stock short (i.e., Herbalife) or a company selling a meal short on ingredients (i.e., horsemeat economics). Some methods are legitimate, and some are not. But one thing is for sure…energy markets are by no means immune to such collusion.

The natural gas market is coming under increased scrutiny, as price movement ahead of the main event of the week – the weekly storage report – appears to be being manipulated by high-frequency trading (HFT). The below illustration from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal highlights how this is done, causing regulators now to conduct ‘more than just the routine oversight and surveillance’.

Natural Gas Future Price

High-frequency trading is nothing new to financial markets, but it is new to the natural gas market. It has also spawned some wonderfully inventive names to describe the pre-storage report shenanigans. The best term by far has to be ‘banging the beehive’, which is where a flood of orders is sent to trigger a huge price swing immediately before the data is released.

Related article: Silver Prices Remain in a Consolidation Mood

Other strategies include ‘spoofing’ and the ‘Boston zapper’. Regardless of how comical these names are, however, this creation of ‘synthetic momentum’ is market manipulation and is being investigated accordingly.

Next up, we take a look at gasoline prices, which have now risen for a wallet-whooping 34 consecutive days, according to the AAA. There are a number of reasons to explain why gasoline prices are now at a record for the time of year, with the omission of the one which makes most logical sense…higher demand.

US Liquid Fuels Consumption

The rise is due to an amalgam of reasons, including elevated oil prices, refinery repairs, seasonal maintenance, and the impending switch to the more expensive summer blend. There is further bad news ahead, as prices will likely continue to show seasonal strength to peak in the coming months, ahead of higher demand from the impending arrival of driving season in May:

Related article: This Week in Energy - Billionaires Secretly Funding Climate Denial Think Tanks

AAA Retail Gasoline Price

ADVERTISEMENT

So who is making money here?  The breakdown for the price of gasoline is something like this: 10% for refining costs, 14% in federal and state taxes, 8% for distribution and marketing, with the rest made up by the price of crude oil (68%). Gas stations earn less than $0.05 per gallon.

Meanwhile, higher energy costs continue to increasingly impact consumer spending. Gasoline last year equated to a record $2,900 of spending per US household, or just under 4% of income before taxes. Rising global demand for oil may be the ultimate culprit for higher gasoline prices, and given that the US is the largest global consumer, leaves the US consumer as the ultimate victim.

By. Matt Smith


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News