Possibly the Worst Article on Oil Trading Ever

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 25 Jun 2012 08:16
Tags: prices trading wti

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Its not often I read an article as completely idiotic as this one, so I just couldn't let it go unnoticed.

In April, I predicted that President Obama’s $52 million plan to increase the margin requirements and otherwise tighten the screws on oil speculators — who borrow huge sums to bet on the direction of oil without taking delivery — would cut oil prices by 10%. He’s beaten that prediction and the lowered price of gasoline has added $78.4 billion to its consumers’ spending power.

He is actually claiming that the fall in oil price is completely due to increased regulation on oil trading. He obviously see's himself as more knowledgeable than those ignoramuses at the IEA. They think its all due to demand.

The springtime slump in oil markets accelerated in May in the wake of the deepening euro zone crisis, mounting concern over a slowdown in Chinese growth and rising global oil supplies. Futures prices were off 20% from peak 2012 levels, with Brent last trading at around $97.50/bbl and WTI at $83.50/bbl.

But what would they know hey? They also see positive things happening to supply.

In 2012 rising North American supply more than offsets record-low North Sea output, as well as outages in the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen

Not that oil prices are set by supply and demand, even the idiot down the pub knows that its the speculators.

Nor has risk got anything to do with it. Iran worries were getting bigger as we got close to the June 28th deadline. Then Hillary Clinton gave the oil consumers a present.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said waivers were granted to India, South Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey.

Now the chance of conflict in the Persian Gulf or a closing of the Straits of Hormuz are much less. Not that those evil traders in New York would take any notice.

Its not like anyone trades oil outside of the USA either. So the US President has full control. Perhaps....

ICE Brent Crude April Trading Volumes Pip WTI's. According to IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE), 11.68 million contracts of Brent traded on its exchange last month, compared with 10.63 contracts of WTI traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data from CME Group Inc. (CME)

So the trading is just shifting to London, because

  1. The role of West Texas Intermediate as the pre-eminent international oil benchmark came into question last year after a backlog at its delivery point of Cushing, Okla., caused it to disconnect from the global market
  2. Meanwhile, increasingly strict regulatory oversight in the U.S. is also deterring traders from using the U.S. benchmark, analysts said

So perhaps regulations on trading are not the only reason for oil prices to fall, maybe our genius columnist is human after all.

If traders were responsible for high oil prices and they are now more active in London, perhaps we could expect WTI and Brent prices to diverge as the drive up the price of Brent. Perhaps not....

  • Brent/WTI Spread
    • March 30th - $20
    • June 19th - $11

So perhaps we can just conclude that Peter Cohan is either completely ignorant of the topic he is writing about, or indulging in a little electioneering for Mr Obama, or perhaps both. Not being a US citizen I have no comment to make on his electoral choices, but I do wish that people would stick to writing about things they are knowledgeable about.

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