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Are We Already Experiencing The "Summer Doldrums"?

Friday, Jul 22 2022
Market Talk

Futures are taking a breather this morning with the entirety of the energy complex drifting slightly lower to start the day. The lack of any new information to drive headlines and/or prices might keep this Friday fairly quiet, highlighting the reason for the term “summer doldrums”.

Is driving season over already? Two weeks of seasonally low demand figures from the DOE seem to suggest so, and futures prices definitely reacted yesterday. The August RBOB contract dropped over 12 ½ cents yesterday, outpacing a lagging diesel contract which only dropped 1.4 cents. Gasoline futures are on track for their 7th consecutive week of lower prices and drivers are seeing it at the pump.

Again, not surprising: the EIA let us know that oil producers saw elevated profits in Q1 this year, despite elevated costs. Even while high energy costs likely contributed to the increase in operational costs, oil production companies certainly didn’t hate when WTI peaked at over $120 per barrel.

It seems the market is in a wait-and-see state, balancing returning output from Libya with the ongoing war in Ukraine. While the American gasoline benchmark seems poised to drop further in the short term, crude and heating oil futures are less enthused. Both look to be in a sideways trading pattern, looking to news on global market changes for price direction.  

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