Update (1700ET): Shortly after API reported a surprisingly large crude inventory build last week (and the first gasoline build in 3 months), The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a statement saying that it won't publish its closely-watched weekly oil inventory report as planned on June 23 as "a result of systems issues."
“Our experts are working on a solution to restore the affected systems”
Several U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) product releases scheduled for the week of June 20, 2022, will be delayed as a result of systems issues. Our experts are working on a solution to restore the affected systems.
We will release the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report as scheduled on June 23. All other data releases scheduled for this week will be delayed. We will resume our normal production schedule and release delayed data as soon as possible.
We apologize for the inconvenience of this delay, and remain committed to our mission of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating independent and impartial energy information as we resolve this issue.
Bloomberg's Energy expert Javier Blas took to Twitter to point out just how unusual this is…
Context to non-oil market followers: this is a massively important weekly report, which often moves oil prices plus-minus 5% in seconds.
— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 22, 2022
There's no coincidences in politics (or politically-sensitive data).
* * *
Oil prices extended their recent weakness today, finding support at around $102 again before bouncing back, driving by recession fears.
Crude has whipped back and forth as the Fed’s commitment to taming inflation “has shaken the confidence of investors using crude as an inflation hedge,” said Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management.
“Market liquidity is challenged as volatility has also taken its toll on traders and investors alike, leaving crude susceptible to massive swings.”
Futures holdings are at the lowest since 2016, leaving headline prices prone to outsized swings.
Gasoline +1.216mm – first build since March
US crude stocks rose for the 3rd straight week (and rose significantly) and gasoline inventories built for the first time since March…
WTI was hovering around $105.20 ahead of the API data and slipped lower on the surprise crude/gasoline builds…
Finally, we note that wholesale gasoline prices bounced higher today, shrugging off Biden's plans for a federal tax cut…
But we note that retail prices are down 6c in the last week and wholesale prices suggest prices could drop further in the short-term…
Biden victory lap?
Not so fast as Goldman reminded traders today that “investors should remember that Fed-induced slowdowns are simply a short-term abatement of the symptom – inflation — and not a cure for the problem – underinvestment."