< sigh > $90 Oil Is A Very Real Possibility

< *sigh* >
Reluctantly, I have to agree with this assessment by Nick Cunningham.

A gentle reminder, I do not want to see triple digit oil prices.  Too high oil prices hurt global economies.  On the opposite side, too low of oil prices hurt oil producers.  A relative balance between supply & demand would be helpful, for both oil producers and oil consumers.

If oil prices get too skewed either way, bad results happen.  Triple digit oil is too high, in my opinion.  And we seem to be heading toward too high oil prices.

I'll spare you a rehash of my ad nauseum previous comments about my hope for a relative balance in oil prices, and instead point you to the hard realities in today's article:

$90 Oil Is A Very Real Possibility

"U.S. sanctions on Iran could push oil prices up to $90 per barrel later this year."

==============================

Side note, here's one of my comments from 2 months ago:

Hey Oil Bulls Pushing For Triple Digits ... Sam Zell Says 'Every Recession Since 1973 Has Been Due to Oil Prices'

 

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I would say that every recession since 1973 has been due to incompetent, mendacious, and hubristic government handling of fiscal and monetary policy in response to various shocks, one of which is apparently the traders' pricing of oil futures contracts  (which does differ from "the price of oil").  

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17 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I would say that every recession since 1973 has been due to incompetent, mendacious, and hubristic government handling of fiscal and monetary policy in response to various shocks, one of which is apparently the traders' pricing of oil futures contracts  (which does differ from "the price of oil").  

Heh heh, you made me chuckle.

But I would counter that high oil prices increased the stupidity and arrogance levels of oil producing governments, applying stupid policies and increased spending which they thought were infinitely sustainable, due to a ridiculous view that high oil prices would never end, and no thought that global economies would crash due to high oil prices.

Rightly or wrongly (probably wrongly) I tend to view international oil & gas as a primary driver in global economies and regional wars (many wars seem to be over control of extraction and transportation of oil & gas). 

 

/apologies for my run on sentences...

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Yet remember that any time the US Government wants to remove oil imports into the USA from the equation, and thus effectively set their own oil prices quite independent of the rest of the planet, it can do so merely by drilling 100 tunnels  (you will recall my previous analysis on this).  The govt pays for the tunnels by requiring an E-Z Pass type of toll collection, with the toll set to the equivalent of the cost of fuel to go up that mountain (and down the other side), so that there is no additional cost to the motorist for using the tunnel.  Absent an avoidance cost, everyone will use the tunnel of their own free will  (you do want to avoid a "compliance State," or you end up with an ICE environment).  SO in the end, the tunnels cost nothing, they are self-liquidating. 

OK, so once you do that, then the govt uses its tax policies to effectively set both the rate of return on exploration and the  pricing of fuel to avoid discretionary use beyond the ability of the producer entities to supply.  That part is easy enough, as long as the temptation to try to balance the budget from oil taxes is avoided.

And if you want to get really fancy, since driving in lane is mandatory in tunnels, you can equip each tunnel lane with an overhead wire pair, so that an optional slider can be fitted to vehicles that want to participate, to connect and draw electric recharge power while traversing the tunnel. You could also optionally do that by electromagnetic coupling into the roadway floor in a non-contact plate system, the point being that participation is optional, nobody is being bludgeoned to participate, and those that do, will have an extra benefit.  Where you have tunnels, you have mountains; where you have mountains, you have mountain streams; where you have mountain streams, you have vertical drops and you have hydro power.  Could be a neat package!

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8 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

And if you want to get really fancy, since driving in lane is mandatory in tunnels, you can equip each tunnel lane with an overhead wire pair, so that an optional slider can be fitted to vehicles that want to participate, to connect and draw electric recharge power while traversing the tunnel. You could also optionally do that by electromagnetic coupling into the roadway floor in a non-contact plate system, the point being that participation is optional, nobody is being bludgeoned to participate, and those that do, will have an extra benefit.  Where you have tunnels, you have mountains; where you have mountains, you have mountain streams; where you have mountain streams, you have vertical drops and you have hydro power.  Could be a neat package!

Ummm, you lost me on that last paragraph...

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Just now, Tom Kirkman said:

Ummm, you lost me on that last paragraph...

I'll work on that.....

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OK, Tom, here you go, from the electrical engineering dept at Stanford:

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/wireless-vehicle-charge-020112.html

The idea is to use induction coupling as one plate with coils moves over the other.  Now you can also do this with two non-moving, non-contact plates, that system is being used on a ferry-boat run in Sweden, where the ferry is all-electric and gets a fast re-charge for ten minutes or so on each loading/unloading cycle.  I'll try to dig out an article on that for you....

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Here you go, Tom, totally wireless recharging of a massive ferry by using a flat plate held 50 cm way from the ship's hull.  Inside the plate is an induction coil, and inside the ship's hull where the plate is positioned is another induction coil.  Vroom!  Instant recharge, no fuss, no muss. 

Technology: ya gotta love it. Always a neat solution to life's pesky little problems. Diesel fuel: who needs it?  Obsolete for these ferries. 

https://www.wartsila.com/media/news/20-09-2017-another-worlds-first-for-wartsila-wireless-charging-for-hybrid-coastal-ferry-successfully-tested

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8 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

OK, Tom, here you go, from the electrical engineering dept at Stanford:

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/wireless-vehicle-charge-020112.html

The idea is to use induction coupling as one plate with coils moves over the other.  Now you can also do this with two non-moving, non-contact plates, that system is being used on a ferry-boat run in Sweden, where the ferry is all-electric and gets a fast re-charge for ten minutes or so on each loading/unloading cycle.  I'll try to dig out an article on that for you....

From the link:

Here's how the system would work: A series of coils connected to an electric current would be embedded in the highway. Receiving coils attached to the bottom of the car would resonate as the vehicle speeds along, creating magnetic fields that continuously transfer electricity to charge the battery.

Methinks the cost of ripping up existing highways to install and power up the electrical coils, and then repaving the highways, is ... uneconomical.

Also wasteful.  If I understand thia correctly, huge amounts of electricity would need to be generated 24/7/365 to power these coils.  Seems to me that ICE cars would be more efficient with energy than this electrical system.

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1 minute ago, Tom Kirkman said:

From the link:

Here's how the system would work: A series of coils connected to an electric current would be embedded in the highway. Receiving coils attached to the bottom of the car would resonate as the vehicle speeds along, creating magnetic fields that continuously transfer electricity to charge the battery.

Methinks the cost of ripping up existing highways to install and power up the electrical coils, and then repaving the highways, is ... uneconomical.

Also wasteful.  If I understand thia correctly, huge amounts of electricity would need to be generated 24/7/365 to power these coils.  Seems to me that ICE cars would be more efficient with energy than this electrical system.

And that's why you use it only where you are building those new tunnels, since by definition you are building a new roadbed! And hey, if it is too fancy for your taste, then stick to the overhead wire and the carbon slider, that works just fine, ask any trolley driver......

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57 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Too high oil prices hurt global economies.

^True.

36 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I would say that every recession since 1973 has been due to incompetent, mendacious, and hubristic government handling of fiscal and monetary policy

^Also true.

I think, together, you could tango. 

Recessions always begin as a result of incompetent handling by the government, but the starting point of the recession is always triggered by inflating input costs, such as oil. 

Take the 2008 housing crash, for instance: The bubble actually had its beginnings in 1992 when the Housing and Community Development Act established an affordable housing loan purchase mandate for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  This plan eventually culminated into Bill Clinton's National Homeownership Strategy in 1995. 

Normally, the free market lets gas out of bubbles slowly, but when the government mandates things like we see above, those bubbles are not allowed to deflate, and so they continue to grow.  Things were made even worse by 2001 when the interest rates dropped to 1% as a result of the .com bubble.  This made mortgages very cheap, and everyone wanted them.  Around this time, banks starting making things worse as well.  Bill Clinton had previously deregulated those banks, and this deregulation was used by the banks to make very bad home-loans (called subprime mortgages).  Normally this never would have happened since banks are always very careful with their own money, but after all of this irresponsible legislation, the banks could write mortgages with other people's money.  Now they could even profit by making bad loans!  This was accomplished by selling the bad loans back to the government after they had repackaging them and bribed the ratings agencies to "pretend" like they were "good loans."  Of course, it wasn't just the government that was on the line for these bad loans, since investors were also purchasing these bad loans under the assumption they were safe.  And they were safe, as long as the insurers of those bad loans could pay.  But without the regulation, the insurers weren't required to have the necessary funds available to pay should the need arise. 

But the need didn't arise, at least not yet, and in the end, this entire scheme (because it was a scheme) allowed people with bad credit to get houses, it allowed the banks to get rich without risk, and it allowed politicians to get re-elected.  Win-win, right? 

Well, then came Bush.  He didn't help anything at all.  Like Clinton before him, he also used housing to win voters.  By 2004, he was promoting his "ownership society" after helping to enact the American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003, of which he said the following: "The dream of homeownership should be attainable for every hard-working American. That's what we want. And this act of Congress I'm going to sign, the regulations that I hope are finalized soon will help thousands of families fulfill the dream.,"

Well, thanks to all of these meddling politicians looking for votes, lots of Americans did end up owning their own home...well, at least until the banks took them all away a few years later.  However, even though the government's meddling allowed the housing bubble keep inflating, it was actually the increasing cost of inputs that triggered the burst.  By 2008, oil prices had risen to $150/barrel, the highest EVER, and the FED had raised interest rates from their low of 1% all the way up to almost 6%.  These higher costs of inputs (primarily from oil costs working their way through the corporate market) eventually prevented homeowners from making timely payments on their mortgages, and with interest rates so high, they were unable to refinance or even sell, since there were too few buyer since they we unable to get a home loan at the now-high interest rates. 

Thus we see the collusion between input costs and government meddling: high input costs trigger the recession, which had been set in motion years before through incompetent handling by the government.   

When talking about recessions, it always takes two to tango.

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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Heh heh, you made me chuckle.

But I would counter that high oil prices increased the stupidity and arrogance levels of oil producing governments, applying stupid policies and increased spending which they thought were infinitely sustainable, due to a ridiculous view that high oil prices would never end, and no thought that global economies would crash due to high oil prices.

Rightly or wrongly (probably wrongly) I tend to view international oil & gas as a primary driver in global economies and regional wars (many wars seem to be over control of extraction and transportation of oil & gas). 

 

/apologies for my run on sentences...

From my perspective, Congress allowing US oil to be exported is a consequential mistake as it will raise the price to the American consumer.  It will increase the amount of pollution as supertankers burn about 10 % of their cargo, and the amount of crude so being wasted is part of the equation to keep oil prices high.  I see no redeeming value in exporting crude oil, it will lower the trade deficit without creating many manufacturing jobs.  Yes the Chinese tariffs on soybean will hurt a few farmers, but it will have no effect whatsoever on manufacturing jobs.

Thanks

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This article sums up Juncker's visit at the White House (found on another chatroom, oilprice.com is referenced):

A visit from Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, to Washington last week resulted in an agreement between two of the biggest economic blocs in the world, which is a rare thing these days. It also marks a success for President Donald Trump, who famously claimed that “trade wars are good and easy to win”. The EU and the U.S. struck a preliminary deal on trade, which has the potential to prevent a major economic conflict between the allies and strengthen the transatlantic pact. Under the deal, Juncker declared that the EU will buy more products from the U.S., highlighting U.S. LNG as one key product in the agreement. A quick look at the economics of the global gas market, however, raises some serious questions about the viability of this agreement.

Although the Juncker and Trump meeting represented a cooling of tensions between the transatlantic partners, the lack of details to have come out of the meeting so far does not fill observes with optimism. On the infrastructure side, Juncker declared that the EU would construct more facilities across Europe in order to import U.S. gas. This promise seems an odd one considering that three-quarters of Europe’s existing import facilities already lie empty. Furthermore, the U.S. is facing bottlenecks as liquefaction facilities cannot cope with surging production, which is likely to be solved in the coming years as more facilities are being constructed.

It is highly unlikely that these U.S. facilities will serve European markets as LNG landing prices in Asia are significantly higher than those in Europe. Due to China’s push for cleaner air, demand for gas is expected to rise significantly over the coming years.

Furthermore, the market economy of the EU and the U.S. is based on a liberal economic model, raises questions about how these goals can realistically be achieved. As described above, the problem does not lie with infrastructure as there is more than enough capacity across Europe currently.

During the Cold War, Russia built an extensive network of pipelines in Eastern Europe and, in recent years, several major projects have increased alternative routes and capacity to the northeast and southeast of Europe.

Although recent geopolitical events have damaged Russia’s reputation as the most important supplier of natural gas to Europe, Moscow and Brussels remain perfectly positioned to collaborate in energy markets. Political differences aside, energy relations with Russia have been improving in the last couple of years, with 2017 being a record year in which a total of 193 bcm has been imported from Russia.

 
 
 

BMW has plenty of fat in their China list prices, and wealthy Chinese are not going to stop buying BMW for a 4 to 7% price increase; those cars are largely insensitive to price. Right now the number of car sales lost due to the new Chinese tariff is likely zero.

I invite readers to consider the pricing of the top-end BMW 7-series. They cost out at $93,000 with the nice trim. The US buyer leases it and pays perhaps $800 a month. If the sticker goes to say $97,000 and the lease payment rises to $840, is that BMW customer going to walk out the showroom door? Nope. At those increments, that buyer is price insensitive. (He may be shopping between dealers, but he is not looking at a Cadillac as a competing good.)

You get the same behavior in airline tickets. Although the carriers fiercely compete on price, matching each other for the last ten bucks, what businessman is going to jump from Delta to USAir because his ticket is being bumped by twenty bucks? Ain't gonna happen. Another reason why consolidation has led to higher prices, and carrier profits.

Will the Trump Tariffs end up being boom or bust? At this point, that jury is still out. You are seeing these squeals and squawks of protest from the Chinese, the Canadians, and the Europeans, but hey, nobody is severing diplomatic ties. Personally, as to basic metals, I think Trump will make it stick - and you will see domestic expansion in heavy industry. As to the consumer and agricultural goods side, that all remains very much in flux, I would be surprised if a total volume reduction in world trade will not occur, but whose ox is gored (or gored the most) is an unclear picture. I anticipate that China will not be able to siphon off US wealth as much as in the past, and US residents will be the net beneficiaries. China needs access to the US market more than Americans need to sell to China. My guess is that China will have to continue to devalue its currency to keep pace, thus lowering personal incomes in China. You will also see some Chinese basic industry, and heavy industries such as shipbuilding, being shut in (already happening in Chinese shipyards, some of which are closing as this is being written). We shall see how it shakes out.

Thanks

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3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

< *sigh* >
Reluctantly, I have to agree with this assessment by Nick Cunningham.

A gentle reminder, I do not want to see triple digit oil prices.  Too high oil prices hurt global economies.  On the opposite side, too low of oil prices hurt oil producers.  A relative balance between supply & demand would be helpful, for both oil producers and oil consumers.

If oil prices get too skewed either way, bad results happen.  Triple digit oil is too high, in my opinion.  And we seem to be heading toward too high oil prices.

I'll spare you a rehash of my ad nauseum previous comments about my hope for a relative balance in oil prices, and instead point you to the hard realities in today's article: 

$90 Oil Is A Very Real Possibility

"U.S. sanctions on Iran could push oil prices up to $90 per barrel later this year."

==============================

Side note, here's one of my comments from 2 months ago:

Hey Oil Bulls Pushing For Triple Digits ... Sam Zell Says 'Every Recession Since 1973 Has Been Due to Oil Prices'

 

I was thinking the same....but then the sound of war...YES the trade war...woke me up!! Two factors are guiding the sentiments of the traders of late. Sanction---Bullish, Trade war---bearish. I believe and I might be totally wrong that trade war news is going to dominate the former threat and thereof resulting in dip in oil prices. Both sides are ready with $200bn (US) and $60bn (China) armory of tariff missiles. China's retaliation by definition depends upon US (Trump's) action. If in case the fear of these sanctions et al goes away...Indeed the oil is heading up.

But then there might be another factor . . . China and India together accounts for 49% of Iran's oil imports. India is still confused whereas China has denied to not cut imports at the same time agreeing not to increase them as well. The effect might be muted.

I am confused as well.....thinking of the right price to buy some barrels at the moment...may be I'll look for the dip that I mentioned but what If it is too close to November! Help me out...

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1 hour ago, John Houbion said:

I anticipate that China will not be able to siphon off US wealth as much as in the past

What?!?!?  What!?!?  The real question is why should US citizens allow China to siphon off ANY of their wealth?!?  Moreover, why should ANY country allow any other country to steal the wealth of their own people?  Trade deficits confuse me because I do not understand why they exist with as much prevalence as they do today.  This is because trade deficits represent a "loan" from the nation with the surplus.  That "loan" can be in the form of a debt owed (e.g. gov't treasuries, corporate bonds, etc...that is to say, it is a future promise to repay the loan in the fiat currency of the nation with the deficit) or it could take the form of transferred assets, (e.g. Chinese businessmen using profits from trade surplus to buy businesses, land, buildings and other assets from US citizens...a transfer of assets from the US to China).  With only one exception, it seems that no responsible government would ever allow any trade deficit to occur.  So far, I have been able to imagine only 3 scenarios where it might occur:

1.) the politicians in charge are either inept or crooked or both

...or...

2.) the nation with the surplus is selling something that the citizens of the other nation cannot live without and must therefore pay the asking price no matter how high, resulting in a deficit.

...or...

3.) the "borrowing" nation (the nation with the deficit) is using the borrowed funds to reinvest into infrastructure that is likely in the future to bring about a greater return than is paid out via borrowing costs (e.g. if one borrows resources at 5% to in order to use those resources to provide a 6+% return, thereby both covering the borrowing costs while also generating a profit).  (this third option would be the "one exception" I mentioned above).

 

But now, notice the following facts:

Largest trade deficit in the world: USA at $462 billion

Second largest, UK: $91 billion...

Notice that the US deficit is 508% larger than the second largest deficit in the world. 

...

Another interesting fact: it you take the 17 countries in the world who happen to have the largest trade deficits (excluding the US) and then add together their entire total trade deficit, the US trade deficit alone is still larger! 

These are ridiculous numbers...

And they lead me to my question:

If we assume the US politicians are just as inept and crooked as the rest of the world's politicians, then we should be able to rule out #1 as a reason for the deficit, since the ineptitude and crookedness of the one leader should be balanced out by a relatively equal ineptitude and crookedness of the other nations' leaders.  If #2 is the reason for the deficit, then what exactly is the rest of the world producing that US citizens simply can't live without and are therefore willing to pay ridiculously high prices to receive?  If #3 is the reason for the deficit, then what in the world is the US building with their ridiculously large loans, and more importantly, what is the likely return going to be on that expensive investment?  Or is my first assumption wrong, which is to say: US voters somehow managed for the last 50 years to elect the most inept and/or most crooked people on the face of the planet.

I know there are a lot of smart people on Oilprice...  Can anyone here help to explain these ridiculous numbers?  I often feel that when I use the word "ridiculous" this many times in a single post, as I have done in this one, I am then required to believe that the only correct answer to my questions can be found in a conspiracy theory.  But I also feel that whenever I am obligated to turn to conspiracy theories for answers, I assume I am missing something vitality important.  So what am I missing?

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1 hour ago, Osama said:

China's retaliation by definition depends upon US (Trump's) action.

Maybe I am confused but I am pretty sure it is supposed to be, "US retaliation by definition depends upon Chinese action." 

I thought China started it all.  They are the one with the trade surplus, after all.  

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(edited)

8 minutes ago, Epic said:

I know there are a lot of smart people on Oilprice...  Can anyone here help to explain these ridiculous numbers?  I often feel that when I use the word "ridiculous" this many times in a single post, as I have done in this one, I am then required to believe that the only correct answer to my questions can be found in a conspiracy theory.  But I also feel that whenever I am obligated to turn to conspiracy theories for answers, I assume I am missing something vitality important.  So what am I missing?

Not sure if my earlier comment (see the questions in the link) on this topic will help, or just frustrate you, Epic.

https://community.oilprice.com/topic/3052-china’s-oil-futures-contract-is-beginning-to-show-its-teeth/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-19305

Edited by Qanoil

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One of my friends drives a lot and he was very happy in January 2016 with oil at 30$.

I told him -good for you. But you should not be suprised if one day in not such a distant future you will see oil not at 30$ but 130$ because this is cyclical industry and best cure for low oil prices are low prices.

Maybe we do not talk about 130$ for the time being but high oil price is reality in another stage of typical history of oil industry.

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10 hours ago, Osama said:

I was thinking the same....but then the sound of war...YES the trade war...woke me up!! Two factors are guiding the sentiments of the traders of late. Sanction---Bullish, Trade war---bearish. I believe and I might be totally wrong that trade war news is going to dominate the former threat and thereof resulting in dip in oil prices. Both sides are ready with $200bn (US) and $60bn (China) armory of tariff missiles. China's retaliation by definition depends upon US (Trump's) action. If in case the fear of these sanctions et al goes away...Indeed the oil is heading up.

But then there might be another factor . . . China and India together accounts for 49% of Iran's oil imports. India is still confused whereas China has denied to not cut imports at the same time agreeing not to increase them as well. The effect might be muted.

I am confused as well.....thinking of the right price to buy some barrels at the moment...may be I'll look for the dip that I mentioned but what If it is too close to November! Help me out...

Quoted above - "A gentle reminder, I do not want to see triple digit oil prices.  Too high oil prices hurt global economies.  On the opposite side, too low of oil prices hurt oil producers.  A relative balance between supply & demand would be helpful, for both oil producers and oil consumers.

PRODUCERS - PRODUCE OIL FROM WELLS DRILLED

OIL CONSUMERS - PEOPLE COMPANIES ETC WHO NEED OIL

EXPLORATION - NOT MENTIONED NEVER IS, WHOS GOING TO REPLACE YOUR UNMENTIONED DREAM OF UNLIMITED OIL RESERVES? THERE IN THE GROUND NOT IN IG TANKS WAITING TO BE USED......

Yep I have an agenda but its prevalent were not in Jed Clampett's situation where it just comes a bubbling up, we should refrain from drinking Grannies "White Lightning" :)

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(edited)

$90-100 oil would hurt the U.S. economy.

Edited by Jesse Man

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Just dropped to 66.85

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45 minutes ago, Jesse Man said:

Just dropped to 66.85

Futures prices (random numbers) fluctuate. In the speculation-driven world, 36. 66, 106, or 136 are all just numbers that may or may not be utilized at a given moment. Occasionally, the futures price passes through the level of a fundamentally sound price, but it is simply on its way to another level. Do not place too much significance on any snapshot of the price level.

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4 minutes ago, William Edwards said:

Futures prices (random numbers) fluctuate. In the speculation-driven world, 36. 66, 106, or 136 are all just numbers that may or may not be utilized at a given moment. Occasionally, the futures price passes through the level of a fundamentally sound price, but it is simply on its way to another level. Do not place too much significance on any snapshot of the price level.

Well, hello William.  I had hoped you would pop your head up around here again.  Hope all is well.

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12 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Well, hello William.  I had hoped you would pop your head up around here again.  Hope all is well.

Thanks, Dan. Nothing much has changed. Just awaiting the capitulation of the speculative longs.

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2 minutes ago, William Edwards said:

Thanks, Dan. Nothing much has changed. Just awaiting the capitulation of the speculative longs.

Longs everywhere.  I'm not convinced, but I don't have any science to back me up.  Ha-ha!  A lot of the discussion recently has been more about short term moves, with a few chiming in with their longer term views, long, some very long.  Time, as always, will tell, eh?

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