U.S. benchmark WTI rose 1.7% to a two-month high Wednesday after government data revealed the nation’s crude stockpiles are at their lowest levels since late 2018. Futures were lower in late morning trading, with WTI down 0.6% at $82.12/bbl and Brent down 0.5% at $84.26/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 9.8% lower at $4.38/MMBtu.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts Brent crude will average $75/bbl this year, down $4/bbl from last year’s average, on a gradual build in inventories:
Other analysts predict the opposite happening, with crude prices potentially rising over $100/bbl.
The International Energy Agency says that surging COVID-19 Omicron cases have not dented global oil demand as much as expected, likely due to the strain being milder than other variants.
Europe’s gas storage levels have remained well below five-year levels for about a year because it is more cost effective to withdraw gas than pay higher prices for ebbing Russian supply, which provides about one-third of the continent’s gas. Europe’s total power bill could double this year from 2019 levels, Citigroup predicts.
Indonesian officials continue their back-and-forth on resuming the nation’s coal exports halted since Jan. 1, with the government now waiting on state utilities to confirm they have secured enough of the fuel.
Germany’s ruling party will press forward with phasing out coal and nuclear while expediting approvals for new solar and wind farms, an effort to push prices down and meet increased power demand by 2030.
The cost of last week’s severe snowstorms across the U.S. Southeast and Mid-Atlantic could total $5 billion in lost revenue, logistics firm Resilinc predicts, as more than 7,000 suppliers and 14,000 logistics sites were disrupted.
Shipping congestion is growing at the world’s largest port complex as carriers reroute to Shanghai to avoid trucking snarls at the COVID-restricted Ningbo port.
A new safety measure at the Port of Oakland will require container lines seeking berths to wait more than 50 miles offshore.
Advanced robots that can pick up separate objects are making their way into more distribution operations.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the most important chip supplier for Apple, raised growth forecasts after setting aside a record $44 billion in spending this year to remedy the global chip shortage and regain its stature from Intel as the world’s top chip builder.
Delivery times for computer chips increased by six days to about 25.8 weeks in December from the previous month, marking the longest wait time since data collection began in 2017.