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Wednesday, 17/01/2019, 05:43:25 AM
Jet-fuel price bounces back
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Jet-fuel prices gyrated on Monday as ash-filled skies above Europe kept aircraft grounded, cutting demand.

Europe consumes about 1.2m barrels a day of jet fuel. The airspace shutdown following last week’s eruption of an Icelandic volcano could remove about three-quarters of this demand, or some 4.5m barrels from the continent’s projected petroleum demand this month, according to preliminary estimates by Eduardo López, senior oil analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Barges of jet fuel sold at Rotterdam changed hands at a premium of $37.75 per tonne above ICE May gasoil futures, down $3.25, according to Platts.

“The key will be what happens going forward,” a trader at a large trading house said.

“If we have more problems in two or three weeks’ time, which means airspace routinely gets shut down for one or two days, that’s going to have a longer-lasting effect than anyone really knows at the moment,” he said.

Crude oil prices also fell. Nymex May West Texas Intermediate declined $1.79 to $81.45 a barrel.

ICE June Brent crude lost $1.76 to $84.23 a barrel.

Analysts attributed the falls to a broader retreat from risky assets after US regulators’ fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, a leading commodity dealer. The S&P GSCI commodity spot index fell almost 2 per cent.

Lawrence Eagles, head of oil research at JPMorgan, said refineries facing a pullback in jet-fuel demand could resort to storing excess fuel, blending more of it into other products such as naphtha and gasoil or trying to export it. But their options in each case might be limited.

A dropoff in jet-fuel use might extend beyond Europe, as flights into and out of the continent were also grounded. “It may be a relatively small [impact], but incrementally it adds up,” Mr Eagles said.

JBC Energy, a Vienna consultancy, said: “Such a major disturbance will have a sizeable impact on price formation, although this has not been felt yet.”

Grains prices dropped sharply as good planting weather in the US boosted supply expectations. Richard Feltes, a commodities analyst at brokerage MF Global in Chicago, said that corn planting was progressing “very rapidly”. The market was on Monday assuming that US farmers had already planted about a fifth of their acreage, topping the record pace set in 2004.

The stronger dollar and a loss of appetite for risk put further pressure on prices, following a week in which all three grains rallied.

In midday trading, CBOT May corn delivery was down 3.9 per cent to $3.50 a bushel, while CBOT May wheat lost 3.5 per cent to $4.73.

Base metals lost ground as risk appetite waned. Aluminium, which last week traded at its highest level since September 2008, lost 2.8 per cent to $2,367.25 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange, while copper slipped 0.9 per cent to $7,706 a tonne.

In precious metals, gold fell 0.4 per cent to $1,131.85 a troy ounce on the spot market and silver lost 0.9 per cent to $17.60.

Palladium, which surged last week to a two-year high of $548.50 an ounce, bucked the trend, gaining 0.5 per cent to $530.50.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Source: Financial Times

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