Because two major crude oil price benchmarks, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, account for 70% of the weighting in the S&P GSCI energy index, the energy index tends to follow major price movements in the crude oil market. During the first half of 2017, WTI crude oil prices declined by 12%, while Brent prices fell 14%.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $46.5 billion in May, down $1.1 billion from $47.6 billion in April, revised. May exports were $192.0 billion, $0.9 billion more than April exports. May imports were $238.5 billion, $0.2 billion less than April imports.
Natural gas net imports (imports minus exports) set a record low of 685 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2016, continuing a decline for the 9th consecutive year. In recent years both U.S. natural gas production and consumption have increased, although production has grown slightly faster, reducing the reliance on natural gas imports and lowering domestic prices.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017 , according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1 percent.
U.S. Rig Count is up 509 rigs from last year's count of 431, with oil rigs up 415, gas rigs up 95, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 0. Canadian Rig Count is up 113 rigs from last year's count of 76, with oil rigs up 77, gas rigs up 37, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 0.
The August light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained 50¢ on June 28 to settle at $44.74/bbl. The September contract was up 50¢ to close at $44.99/bbl. The NYMEX natural gas price for July gained 3¢ to a rounded $3.07/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price also gained 3¢ to $3.01/MMbtu. The Brent crude contract for August on London’s ICE increased 66¢ to $47.31/bbl while the September contract climbed 62¢ to $47.54/bbl. The July gas oil contract gained $4.25 to $427.50/tonne. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes on June 28 was $44.48/bbl, up 25¢.
Near-curve contracts are seen edging higher on crude gains. On the spot, the Dutch TTF day-ahead was trading at Eur15.30/MWh, down 2.5 euro cent/MWh from Wednesday's close. German prices were also seen ticking down, with the NCG spot contract down 15 euro cent at Eur15.65/MWh, while the GASPOOL spot was 2.5 euro cent lower at Eur15.40/MWh.
OPEC's first output cut in eight years has earned the group $1.64 billion a day so far this year, up more than 10 percent from the second half of 2016, according to Reuters calculations based on OPEC figures for average production and its crude basket price up until June 20.
Brent crude LCOc1 was down 9 cents at $46.56 a barrel at 1033 GMT. It reached a seven-month low of $44.35 on June 21. U.S. crude fell 17 cents to $44.07.
The August light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX gained 37¢ on June 26 to settle at $43.38/bbl. The September contract was up 34¢ to close at $43.61/bbl. The NYMEX natural gas price for July gained nearly 10¢ to a rounded $3.03/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.98/MMbtu, up 12¢. The Brent crude contract for August on London’s ICE increased 29¢ to $45.83/bbl while the September contract was up 29¢ to $46.04/bbl. The July gas oil contract dropped $1.75 to $409.50/tonne. OPEC’s basket of crudes on June 26 was $43.14/bbl, down 12¢.