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Significant Haircut For Refined Product Futures

Wednesday, Mar 24 2021
Market Talk

Refined product futures had a significant haircut yesterday as prompt month gasoline and diesel contracts settled over six cents and eight cents lower, respectively. Crude grades saw similar selling pressure, both American and European grades coming off over $4 per barrel by the end of the online session Tuesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency has officially extended the compliance deadline for obligated parties under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2019 and 2020. The news comes as a relief to some, and a given to others, since as compliance requirements are still undecided. Ignoring what could be seen as bearish news, both ethanol and bio RINs tacked on eight cent gains yesterday, lending credit to the notion that price action in the underlying feedstock drives RIN prices.

The buyers are fighting back this morning with prompt month crude and diesel futures pushing to stay above their respective 50-day moving averages. A grounded container ship holding up through-traffic in the Suez Canal seems to be taking credit for the bump in prices this morning. While only a temporary blockage, expected to be resolved tomorrow, it might be enough stimulus to buoy some recently rather bearish technicals.

The 4.5 month long rally was broken with last Thursday’s selloff (leaving the big three energy contracts with 5-6% losses) but the subsequent see-saw in price action makes it seem that we will see some choppy waters ahead while the complex decides if it wants to continue its upward climb or revert to last November’s levels.

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