The last week of the year starts off at a slow pace for major commodities as most of their prices had very little fluctuations.
This characterization could be referred to, among other, Crude oil prices, Gold prices and Silver prices; all of which showed a moderate change of less than one percent.
Natural gas prices – Nymex Henry Hub Future – are showing a bit more action with a decrease of nearly 1.32%.
China is still on the news after it reported its decision to raise its interest rate so that the one-year lending rate will rise by 25 basis points to 5.81%, and the one-year deposit rate will also increase by 25 basis points to reach 2.75%. The last raise was back in October also by 25 basis points.
This maneuver is China’s attempt to fight its rising inflation pressures, which as of November stands on 5.1% Y-2-Y. This is after the year began at a low rate of 1.5% Y-2-Y.
China is a major player in the energy market with a consumption 8,200 b/day; China is the second largest economy in petroleum consumption, after the U.S and heavily relies on importing Crude oil. Therefore, this attempt to slowdown its economic activity, could have a downsizing effect on its demand for importing crude oil, and consequently could reduce the rising pressures for crude oil prices in 2011.
Storage of Natural gas for the passing week:
After my last review about U.S. Natural gas storage (you can view here my last post on this subject), in which there was a small fall in Natural gas underground storage (Billion Cubic Feet) by 4.4%, in the recent published figures for the week of 17th of December there was a larger fall of 5.4%, which is in terms of Billion cubic feet a decline of over 193. For that week, the total Natural gas storage reached 3,368 (Billion Cubic Feet) for all lower 48 states.
This ongoing decline is due to the expected increase in consumption of energy throughout the US mainly for heating purposes. These levels of storage are very high and similar to the storage level at the beginning of September 2010.
Despite the rise in consumption and the decline in storage of Natural gas, the prices of gas continue to plummet for this month of December. As of today, the current rate represents a 6% decline for the Nymex Henry Hub Future at least.
Here is an update on the prices of main energy and precious metals commodities for December 27th (all times GMT):
The Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (February 2011 delivery), on the New York Mercantile Exchange, is traded at 90.6 USD / barrel, which is a 0.91 USD/b decrease or a 0.99% fall, as of 15.34 PM.
The Dated Brent spot crude oil is at 93.05 USD / barrel – a 0.07 USD/ barrel increase as of 15.45 PM.
The WTI spot price is trading as of 14.18 PM GMT at 91.1 USD per barrel, an increase of 0.21% compare to the end of last week.
Nymex Henry Hub Future (Natural Gas price) is traded at 4.03 USD/ MMBTU (one million BTU), a decrease of 0.05 USD/ MMBTU, or -1.32%, as of 15.34 PM. This fall is for the second straight business day; So far, for the month of December the price trend is downward as it began the month at 4.27 USD/ MMBTU.
Gold price, short term February delivery future, after last week moderate decline, is traded at 1,382 USD /t. oz., a moderate 0.15% increase or 2.1 USD /t. oz. at 15.30 PM.
Silver price, unlike Gold price, started the week falling, and as of 15.30 PM is traded at 29.23 $/t oz. a 0.33% decrease or 0.098 $/t oz.
For further reading:
- Weekly outlook for Crude oil, Natural gas and Gold 27-31 Dec (in this site)
- Should we be concerned with Crude oil prices in 2011? (in this site)
- China raises interest rates –reviewing its effect on crude oil prices (in this site)