Diesel volatility continues, with diesel prices down nearly 50 cents from their starting price on Monday. In the past month, diesel prices fell from $3.80 to $3.20, then soared to $4/gal, and now sit closer to $3.50. Dramatic swings are stemming from demand concerns in China, where fresh COVID lockdowns in Chengdu, a city with 21 million people, have slashed manufacturing activity and fuel demand. In addition to falling demand, supplies are beginning to take a more bearish slant also.
France’s leader Emmanuel Macron stated that an Iran nuclear deal could be announced within days, allowing Iran’s oil to eventually resume flows to the global market. One official has said the deal is closer than its been before, but sticking points remain. For one, Iran wants to close an investigation from the 2000s caused by traces of uranium in certain Iranian facilities. The deal would eventually mean Iran being able to export more than 1 MMbpd more oil down the road. Moreover, one source indicates that Iran has 150-200 million barrels of floating crude storage, just waiting for sanctions to be lifted. That oil – equivalent to a bit under half of non-SPR US crude inventories – could rapidly hit markets once sanctions are lifted.
Adding to the diesel volatility, the EIA reported a surprise build for diesel inventories. Although the increase was a paltry 100,000 barrels, it wasn’t the draw that had been expected. Crude stocks fell 3.3 million barrels, while gasoline declined 1.2 million barrels.