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Oil prices rose only modestly yesterday even after Russia made good on threats to cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.
In mid-day trading today, WTI futures were up 2.7% at $104.80/bbl, Brent was up 1.9% at $107.30/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 4.1% at $7.04/MMBtu.
The U.S. government said crude stocks rose by just 692,000 barrels last week, short of expectations, while distillate inventories including diesel and jet fuel fell to their lowest levels since 2008. The drop in distillates pushed U.S. heating oil to a record close at $4.67 a gallon.
Chinese commercial gas demand is falling due to lockdowns.
More oil news related to the war in Europe:
Russia’s Gazprom halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria yesterday over their failure to pay in rubles. European gas prices settled 4.1% higher after a turbulent day of trading, while Asian LNG prices rose 16%. The EU — and notably its largest economy Germany — vowed to push back on Russia’s demands.
North Sea crude purchases are at multi-year highs on increased demand from European refiners looking to replace Russian supplies. Climate activists, sharply opposed to more North Sea production, succeeded in halting some German crude flows yesterday in protest.
Russian seaborne oil exports rose 420,000 bpd in April but are expected to drop sharply when new sanctions take effect in May. Moscow predicted crude exports could fall 17% this year.
A change of control at a Rosneft-operated refinery in Germany could soon complete the nation’s planned halt of Russian oil imports.
Exxon Mobil declared force majeure on its 273,000-bpd Sakhalin-1 operations in Russia’s Far East. Meanwhile, India cannot find a vessel to transport 700,000 barrels of crude from the site.
One of the world’s biggest shipping companies, Taiwan-based Yang Ming Marine Transport, says recent signs of easing port congestion could lead to improved freight conditions in the second quarter. FEU prices were down 20% since late February at the Port of Los Angeles last week, while TEU prices were 50% of last August’s levels.
A South Korean consortium led by LG Energy Solution will invest $9 billion in Indonesia to build a mines-to-manufacturing supply chain for electric vehicles.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest edible oils exporter, widened the scope of its export ban on cooking oil to include crude and refined palm oil, a sharp turnabout from official policy announced the previous day.
Employment in U.S. daycare services remains more than 10% below pre-pandemic levels, as the profession saw one of the worst flights of workers during the pandemic.
In the latest news from first-quarter earnings season:
Qualcomm’s earnings and sales beat expectations, helping dispel fears that chip demand is slowing after a pandemic-fueled surge the past two years.
Samsung reported record quarterly revenue and saw net profit jump 59% on resilient demand for computer chips and rising smartphone sales.
Boeing reported a worse-than-expected $1.24 billion loss as production setbacks stack up for its jetliner and military programs. Long-stalled deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner — with pending orders topping $25 billion — could resume by this summer.
Medical-device maker Boston Scientific attributed a 10% gain in revenue to a rise in medical procedures and upped its full-year sales outlook.
Harley-Davidson’s sales fell 5%, primarily in North America, as supply shortages held back production. The firm expects a planned spinoff of its electric motorcycle division to be finalized by the middle of this year.
Procter & Gamble’s organic sales rose 10%, the biggest jump in 20 years, as the firm warned that shoppers may begin to balk at higher prices.
Consumer-goods giant Unilever raised prices an average of 8.3% last quarter, the most of any competitor, and suffered a 1% decline in overall volumes.
American agriculture giants including Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill reaped gains on the global rise in commodity prices and said tight crop supplies could continue for several years.