Posted: June 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Energy, Labor, Labour Costs, Natural Gas, Negotiating with Suppliers, NEGOTIATOR'S TAKE, Supplier's costs, USA, Wall Street Journal | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »


NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE: Natural Gas rising but still at near historical lows.


06.27.16 – 5th winning season in the last 7 years

Natural gas prices rose Monday, pushing back toward the 10-month highs set last week as power-sector demand keeps supporting the market.  It’s the fifth winning session in the last seven, and pushes gas toward its fifth straight week of gains. Front-month prices are up 38% since the June contract expired at just $1.963/mmBtu on May 26.

Natural-gas futures for July delivery settled up 5.4 cents, or 2%, to $2.716 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  More trading has moved to the August contract, with July expiring at Tuesday’s settlement and options expiring at Monday’s settlement.  August futures settled up 4.7 cents, or 1.7%, to $2.741/mmBtu.

July’s contract hasn’t traded below $2/mmBtu since early March, and summer prices are often higher because of increasing demand for gas-fired power to run air conditioners.  That has spurred much of the rally, along with slight declines in production and a record-low number of working rigs that has some traders expecting larger production declines on the way.


More power generators convinced to burn coal

Demand has kept rising in recent weeks, confounding some who expected the rally would lead power plants to buy other fuels instead.  As hotter weather has increased power demand, average daily gas consumption has climbed to more than 65 billion cubic feet a day in June, up about 1.6% from May, according to Platts Analytics, a forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts.

The higher natural-gas prices have convinced more power generators to burn coal, but hotter weather and other trends keep pushing gas consumption higher, too, analysts said.  The amount of both wind and hydropower is declining, causing power generators to burn more of both coal and gas to match high demand for air conditioning during an exceptionally warm June, according to Genscape.


Nuclear power increasingly a factor

Nuclear power has also increasingly become a factor, analysts said. Its output is down 1.6 gigawatts a day from a year ago, the equivalent of about 300 million cubic feet a day of gas, according to Schneider Electric SA.  That has helped raise gas demand by about 1.8 bcf a day in the power sector alone and 2.5 bcf a day total from a year ago, according to Platts Analytics.

“Demand has been above general expectations,” said Daniel Holder, Schneider Electric’s commodity analyst in Louisville, Ky. He noted that even after the rally prices are lower than what they were a year ago and 83% off their all-time high from 2005.  “Compared to history, these are still really very low prices” for power generators.


SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

AUTHOR: Timothy Puko | Write to Timothy Puko at:


The U.S. Natural Gas Story in 15 Charts

Posted: April 28th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Gem, Natural Gas | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Natural gasThe story of U.S. natural gas gets referenced a lot but you may not know whats going on. Here are 15 charts that tell the story of the U.S. natural gas market which has been completely changed by the rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

In the past few years, new technologies and cheaper costs allowed producers to access gas trapped in parts of the U.S. previously considered unreachable.

Read the rest of The U.S. Natural Gas Story in 15 Charts » » »


Posted: February 24th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Economic Barometer, Energy, Energy, Natural Gas, Negotiating with Suppliers, NEGOTIATOR'S TAKE, Plastics, propylene | No Comments »


NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE:  Prices for plastic components made from Polyethylene or Polypropylene should be dropping.


02.20.16 – Warmer-than-average Winter

Natural-gas prices fell to a fresh two-month low last Friday on expectations of continued mild demand.

A warmer-than-average winter in the eastern half of the U.S. has limited demand for natural gas as an indoor-heating fuel, pushing more gas into storage and weighing on prices.  As of Feb. 12, stockpiles of natural gas stood 26% above the five-year average for this time of year, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday.  Temperatures aren’t expected to turn much colder in the next two weeks, according to forecasts, and traders are already looking to spring when demand for the fuel will fall further.

“The demand landscape is troubling,” said Aaron Calder, analyst at energy-advisory firm Gelber & Associates, in a note.


imagesNatural Gas storage in Houston, TX


Lowest level since December 18, 2015

Natural gas futures for March delivery settled down 4.8 cents, or 2.6%, at $1.804 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest level since Dec. 18.  Prices fell 8.2% on the week, the third straight weekly decline.

Physical gas for next-day delivery at the Henry Hub in Louisiana last traded at $1.785/mmBtu, compared with Thursday’s range of $1.85-$1.885. Cash prices at the Transco Z6 hub in New York last traded at $1.75/mmBtu, compared with Thursday’s range of $1.96-$1.99.


SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

ARTICLE AUTHOR: Nicole Friedman | Follow Nicole on TWITTER | Email Nicole at:


Shale gas blasts open world energy market

Posted: January 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Gem, Natural Gas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Shale gas drillingUnconventional treasure: Shale gas is trapped deep inside rock formations.

Shale gas is a new and abundant source of natural gas, trapped in rock formations. Oil companies have known about it for decades but always dismissed it because it was too expensive and difficult to extract.

In the past few years new technologies that pump water underground to fracture the rock and free the gas have been perfected. The breakthrough has opened a new frontier for the energy industry and turned long-held assumptions about the world’s dwindling supplies on their head.
via Shale gas blasts open world energy market on Propurchaser


Posted: November 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Economic Barometer, Economic Indicators, Energy, Energy, Houston Natural Gas Storage, Natural Gas, Negotiating with Suppliers, Uncategorized, US Dollar, USA, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE: Record storage means Natural Gas prices likely to remain low for the foreseeable future.

Set to beat 2012 record

The U.S. has tied and is set to surpass a record for the amount of natural gas in storage, according to the latest Energy Department data.

Inventory figures released early this month show 3.929 trillion cubic feet in storage across the country, tying the previous weekly record of 3.929 trillion cubic feet set on Nov. 2, 2012.  And with two or three weeks of additional inventory gains expected this year, it’s likely the U.S. will have a new high mark by the time the summer and fall injection season ends.

The large amount of gas in storage, continued strong gas production and forecasts for a warm winter — which would mean less need for natural gas as a heating fuel — have weighed on prices.  Natural gas fell close to $2 per million British thermal unit at the end of October, a three-year low.

Traditionally, U.S. inventories rise during the warm summer months and then fall as cold weather arrives and natural gas is used for heating.  A colder-than-expected winter could lead to higher prices, but it would take a prolonged cold snap to burn through the extra cushion provided by the record amount of storage and force prices up significantly.

In total, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that about 2.453 trillion cubic feet of natural gas has gone into storage since April, the second largest amount behind only the 2014 injection season.  This winter, the EIA is forecasting the winter inventory draws will be less than the five-year average at about 2 trillion cubic feet.

That would leave about 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas in storage when the weather warms in 2016, plenty to weigh prices down into next year as well.  The EIA forecasts that natural gas prices will remain below $3 per million British thermal unit through mid-2016.


Weekly gas storage graph. NOV 2015

SOURCE: Fuel Fix []

AUTHOR: Robert Grattan, Energy Reporter at and the Houston Chronicle – view his LinkedIn profile, HERE


Posted: September 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Copper, Crude Oil, Economic Indicators, Energy, Japan, Negotiating with Suppliers, Oil, Rubber, Thailand, Uncategorized, USA, Wall Street Journal, West Texas Intermediate, What's Happening in Our Profession, Yen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE:  Rubber prices are at 6-year lows – a good time to approach suppliers for price decreases.


Rubber has emerged as one of the worst performers amid the slump in global commodities in recent weeks, thanks to a continuing glut of the material used in products from tires to condoms.


Benchmark futures in Tokyo are near their lowest level in six years

While copper is down 15% in the last three months and West Texas Intermediate crude oil has slumped 23%, benchmark rubber futures traded in Tokyo have sunk 27% to ¥167.80 a kilogram, around their lowest level for six years.

Soft rubber graph


Rubber’s lack of bounce highlights how, as demand growth slows in key markets, the most vulnerable commodities are those whose producers have been unable to tame output over recent years . . . . read the rest of this ProPurchaser sourced article, HERE.


Source: The Wall Street Journal, September 2015

Article Author: LUCY CRAMER – View her biography, HERE.


Posted: August 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Commodities, Crude Oil, Energy, Energy, Iran, Negotiating with Suppliers, Oil, Uncategorized, USA, Wall Street Journal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE: Lubricants, plastics and transportation are all candidates for price reduction.


Seasonal slowdown of oil graph


Toward prices not seen since the last financial crisis

As U.S. oil fell to a six-year low below $41 a barrel on Wednesday, an increasing number of analysts and traders are saying crude could drop into the $30s—and soon.

The move to a price last seen at the height of the financial crisis, in February 2009, could come amid a seasonal falloff in demand, coupled with concerns about the Chinese economy and the continuing global glut of crude. Cheaper oil would bring further joy to consumers and businesses around the globe, but more pain for everyone from Russian budget officials to U.S. shale-oil drillers….read the rest of this ProPurchaser sourced article, HERE.


Source: The Wall Street Journal, August 2015

Article Author: GEORGI KANTCHEV  (view his biography, HERE)


Posted: July 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Australia, Commodities, Energy, Energy, ethylene, Natural Gas, Plastics, Saudi Arabia, Shale gas, USA, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE:  North American producers have a huge cost advantage for plastic products made from Ethylene.  You might want to re-think sourcing from China.

Now that the US has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the top crude oil and natural gas producer, it can produce cheaper plastic and bring better economic prospects to the nation.  How so?  Well, it’s ethane that’s the key ingredient:




Ethane can be derived from both natural gas and crude oil.  From ethane you get ethylene, which is the basic building block of many plastics….read the rest of this ProPurchaser sourced article, here.

Source: Spend Matters

Article Author: RAJIV JOARDER of Mintec – View his profile at: LinkedIn

WTI at $45: have we reached the bottom yet?

Posted: January 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Oil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

WTI at $45: have we reached the bottom yet?West Texas Intermediate for March delivery decreased as much as $1.24 to $44.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was down 57 cents to $45.02 at 12:14 p.m. London time. The contract lost 72 cents to $45.59 on Jan. 23, the lowest close since March 2009. The volume of all futures traded was 24 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for March settlement slid as much as $1.22, or 2.5 percent, to $47.57 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It gained 27 cents to $48.79 on Jan. 23. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.14 to WTI.

Read the rest of WTI at $45: have we reached the bottom yet? » » »

Oil rout impacts the Canadian economy

Posted: January 22nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Canada, Energy, Oil | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Oil rout impacts CanadaA new Conference Board of Canada report released today at the Oil and Gas Summit 2015 in Calgary estimates Canada’s economy will suffer a 0.4 per cent hit to growth this year. Lower oil prices will have sharply differing effects across Canada’s regions and industries.

The Canadian dollar fell to its weakest in five years Tuesday on speculation the more than 50% drop in oil prices since June would lead to sharp economic revisions by the central bank.

In a shock move, the Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday to counter the effects of cheaper oil on economic growth and inflation and help guard against the risks of a housing market downturn.

Read the rest of Oil rout impacts the Canadian economy » » »

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