Gas prices continue to rise on record, oil at fresh highs: what drives the markets?

Gas prices continue to rise on record, oil at fresh highs: what drives the markets? 1

What happened?

Oil

The jump occurred after the new agreement of the OPEC+ countries. An agreement was reached to increase oil production in November by 400 thousand barrels per day.

Oil prices have returned to the level of three years ago. Thus, the cost of a barrel of Brent for the first time since 2018 exceeded $ 81. WTI fuel also broke the record. More than $77 is being asked for it on the London Stock Exchange. This is generally the best result since 2014.

Such a jump occurred after the new agreement of the OPEC+ countries. They agreed to increase oil production in November by 400 thousand barrels per day.

At the same time, the participants of the meeting took into account all possible risks β€” the next waves of coronavirus and the possible launch of additional volumes of black gold from Iran to the market. This, according to experts, will help to stabilize the situation with fuel prices.

Gas

The price of gas futures contracts on October 7 broke another record and crossed the $1,900 mark, according to the ICE exchange platform. In just a few hours, it jumped by more than 20%, and then fell by $200 in 10 minutes.

What does it mean?

Oil

The energy crisis in Europe will intensify as utilities continued to outbid scarce supplies of natural gas as the winter heating season began.

Shale oil production will grow over the next 18 months, even if prices reach a multi-year high, leaving OPEC in a very weak position as the world cries out for more barrels.

The decision threatens to exacerbate tensions between the United States, Europe and China, which fear that rising energy prices could undermine the recovery of their economies.

Nevertheless, OPEC+ assures that in the event of a sharp increase in demand, they will be able to adjust production and prevent the oil market from overheating.

Gas

Gas prices have started to rise due to the European gas crisis, but it seems that new price records are now being achieved in the absence of obvious new reasons.

We are faced with the inability of the market to generate an adequate gas price. It does not reflect either the level of transactions or the state of the market in Europe. But this is only part of the truth. In addition to gas producers, traders are actively working on the market, but they have serious financial problems due to high gas prices.

Why should I know that?

The inflationary background may contribute to the growth of securities of companies from the electric power sector and consumer goods.

Given the current situation with gas prices in Europe, investors should pay attention to protective assets, as well as shares of companies exporting natural gas, coal, oil and polymers. An increase in inflationary pressure may have a positive impact on the profitability of grocery retailers, Walmart-type chains and consumer goods manufacturers such as Procter & gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

This week, Reuters reported another reason for the price increase – brokers and exchanges demanded that commodity traders increase financial guarantees for short contracts due to rising prices for gas futures contracts, margin calls were experienced by the largest commodity traders Glencore, Gunvor, Trafigura and Vitol, among others. The special drama of the situation is that operations with commodity futures themselves are an element of hedging or insuring financial risks for traders with sharp fluctuations in commodity prices, but no one expected such a sharp rise in prices.

The consequences of such high gas prices will continue to increase prices for other energy carriers, such as energy coal and petroleum products. If we recalculate the cost of a barrel of oil in Europe based on the energy value of alternative gas, then it should be above $200.

Now we can say that in the foreseeable future there are no serious reasons that can stop the gas crisis that has broken out. Supplies of liquefied natural gas, which can partially compensate for the imbalance in the European market, are reoriented to Asia, where there is still high demand, especially from China. Komlev said that due to the growing demand for LNG in Asia, where gas is sold more expensive, another 14 billion cubic meters of gas did not reach Europe. This is 4-5% of the volume of consumption, β€œit was enough for prices to go off the chain,” added the top manager of Gazprom Export.

It is obvious that without the intervention of the regulator, the process of price growth can be catastrophic.

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