Thursday, July 27, 2023

Gasoline Is Surging All Over the World in Fresh Inflation Blow

No kidding, here are RBOB futures via FinViz (also on blogroll at right):

Gasoline RBOB Chart Daily

And from Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance, July 26:

The price of gasoline is starting to surge everywhere, an inflationary omen for central banks and governments the world over.

Futures just soared to a nine-month high in New York, sending shock waves through to the pump, while prices have also been rising in Asia. Markets for the motor fuel have tightened worldwide due to a combination of unexpected refinery outages plus lower-than-normal stockpiles in key storage hubs such as the US Gulf Coast and Singapore for this time of the year.

In global energy markets, it’s telling that while crude oil futures are little changed year-to-date, US gasoline contracts have rallied by more than 20%. The resurgence in gasoline potentially poses a headache for central banks including the US Federal Reserve as policymakers grapple with the problem of how much more monetary tightening, if any, is needed to bring inflation to heel.

Gasoline prices are often a topic of contention as those costs can be an essential daily expense for many, alongside food and rent. Energy prices are one of the many factors that have contributed to surging inflation globally. In the US, reining in prices at the pump will also be a crucial issue for President Joe Biden with the next election just over a year away, especially after he ordered the sale of a huge chunk of the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve last summer.

“Higher energy costs may push up consumer prices and lead to renewed goods inflation — a sector where price increases have slowed,” said Andrew Hollenhorst, chief US economist at Citigroup Inc.

For perspective, a one-cent rise in a gallon of gasoline in the US takes away about $1.15 billion annualized spending power, according to Brett Ryan, senior economist at Deutsche Bank AG. That means the $1.30 a gallon drop in the second quarter saved consumers $150 billion, and that’s money they could spend on other goods and services. Now, this tailwind could turn into a headwind and drag on spending should prices continue to rise materially, Ryan said.

Global Strength
Low inventories and high demand across key regions are driving prices higher around the world. In Europe, gasoline prices are rising faster than crude, although this trend has yet to fully translate to higher costs at the pump. Meanwhile, conditions in the Singapore market, a key Asian hub, have also firmed on lower-than-expected Chinese exports. In many emerging markets, that translates into a heavier burden for governments given many have fuel subsidies in place to buffer costs for poorer citizens....


That makes three uses of "soar" or "soared" today, I think we have a trend.