Posts Tagged ‘prices’

The Oil Big Five: Your comments about oil prices worldwide

This is a busy time of year, and between conferences and the reporting of big news events, we’ve been running in several directions at once here at The Barrel. That’s part of the reason why we’re just now getting to your comments about the October version of The Oil Big Five, when we got our analysts and editors to share their biggest issues in the global oil industry.

Today, though, we want to highlight some of your comments. Remember you can always tell us your thoughts through a comment here on the blog, or on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5.

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How a price assessment might thwart an acquisition

Platts often learns how its price assessments are used in contracts – mostly as a third-party benchmark between buyers and sellers in negotiations for procuring a particular commodity. But a newly discovered use has come to light – as a possible deal-killer for a major acquisition.

And senior executives at Australia’s BC Iron could start to chew on their fingernails if iron ore prices weaken any further.

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Infographic: Steel raw materials in numbers

Platts steel team tasked our design and production department to take a wealth of steel raw materials data and transform those freshly mined (sic) numbers into something visually engaging. In this post we present you with the very interesting results.

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India’s gas pricing dilemma: A ‘Modi’cum of liberalization?

The new Narendra Modi government in New Delhi prolonged the suspense this week over what tack it will take on the controversial domestic gas pricing issue.

It had been expected to signal which way it is inclined ahead of a September 30 deadline to announce its final decision on gas prices.

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US ethanol’s dog days of summer

The increasingly stagnant US ethanol market is getting downright weird. Remember the first four months of 2014 when wild volatility was rampant and almost expected in the market?

With the benchmark Platts Chicago Argo ethanol assessment, we hit a 2014 low of $1.78/gal one quiet January day. Throw some ice and railroad logistics issues into the mix, and that price more than doubled in a matter of two months, hitting an eight-year high of $3.76/gal on March 31.

That seems like such a long time ago now.

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The changing face of global gas, or, chasing the arbitrage

The fate of US LNG import terminal projects was sealed as the amount of relatively low-cost gas produced onshore soared in the middle of the last decade. Most of them were scrapped before getting off the drawing board, but the more advanced of them, notably Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, went on to become export terminals, in a radical and apparently successful bid to salvage their backers’ fortunes.

That well-documented transformation was only made possible by the yawning price difference opening up between the depressed Henry Hub and the rest of the world.

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Low volatility is translating into less liquid energy commodity markets

There has been considerable discussion of late about the lack of volatility in some key trading markets, and the impact that is having on trading groups, their profitability, and thus their interest in remaining engaged in certain markets.

The argument has been that low or relatively flat prices have driven some key trading firms — a fair number of which are big banks — from a number of commodity markets, including energy commodities. Some believe the liquidity of some of these markets has taken a hit as counterparties have left, both because of reduced profitability but also as a result of regulatory pressures.

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“Maddening” US ethanol prices mimic RINs volatility

US ethanol prices in 2014 have become what RINs were in 2013 — volatile and downright wacky.

In the opening three months of 2013, biofuels RINs went from the nerdy kid in freshman biology to a menacing and eccentric upper-classman that scared all the other kids in the cafeteria. The previously lesser-known renewable credits generated by physical gallons of biofuels became a household name of infamy as finger-pointing linked them to rising prices at the pump.

And if there’s one thing an array of industries, commodities, and political dealings have learned over the years, you don’t mess with prices at the pump.

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An SPR bazooka and the central bank of oil

In a perfect world of crude pricing, there would exist a mechanism to soak up excess length when prices were low, and add length into the market when prices were high.

In the world of money, this is called a central bank, with a dual mandate of keeping inflation low and employment as full as possible. There is no central bank for crude oil. But if there were, its dual mandate would be a price floor for producers and a price ceiling for consumers. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural gas prices jumped after TransCanada pipeline explosion

An explosion that occurred on TransCanada’s natural gas lateral pipeline on January 25 led spot natural gas prices in the frigid US Midwest and southern Canada regions to skyrocket.

Ventura prices averaged in the low $53.90s/MMBtu on IntercontinentalExchange after a more than $44 increase in trading on January 27. Deals went as high as $85/MMBtu.

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