Oil Market Flies Blind as Covid-19 Clouds Demand Outlook
Energy analysts are mapping out the course of the coronavirus and efforts to stop the pandemic, including limits on flights, cruises, and the use of public transportation. They are also grappling with the effects on fuel demand of an economic downturn, rising unemployment, and changing patterns of work, study, and travel.
All this has introduced an unusual degree of uncertainty into estimates for how much oil the world will consume in the remainder of 2020. The lack of visibility has contributed to renewed turbulence in the market after prices rose over the summer, buoyed by the return of cars and trucks to the road.
Global oil demand has bounced back from its nadir in April when the U.S. and other regions locked down to stall the coronavirus. Still, it remains significantly below 2019’s record level.
Wilson buys 1K autonomous Locomation units for truck platooning
Technology company Locomation booked its first autonomous truck purchase order. Missouri-based carrier Wilson Logistics ordered Locomation’s Autonomous Relay Convoy technology to be equipped on a minimum 1,120 of its tractors, with the first units delivered in early 2022. The purchase order also extends the existing commercial agreement between the two companies through 2028.
Top Energy Stories
Refined product futures settled higher September 25 as demand outlooks improved amid US stimulus optimism, but resurgent coronavirus cases in Europe weighed on crude prices.
US refined product stocks moved lower in the week ended September 18 as weak refinery runs and an uptick in exports outweighed tepid demand, US Energy Information Administration data showed September 23.
Canada will spend C$320 million ($238.56 million) to support its offshore oil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, which has struggled as coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions reduced demand, the government said on Friday.
Top Freight Transportation Stories
After many months in the making, FMSCA’s final HOS rules are set to take hold next week. The rule changes received mixed reviews from the various parties affected, but most fleets welcome them and are educating their drivers and back offices on how to comply.
Procure IQ uses data from C.H. Robinson’s large shipper and carrier community to give shippers an opportunity to analyze each freight lane through a comparative pricing, volume, and service analysis, rather than solely purchasing transportation lanes in bulk during an annual bidding process.
Talks between electric-truck maker Nikola Corp. 1.88 percent and several potential partners, including BP -0.39 percent PLC, to build hydrogen-refueling stations stalled following allegations the company had misled investors, according to people familiar with the matter.
Top Economic Stories
Approximately 870,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment in the week ending September 19, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, representing a small tick upward for a country still reeling from the coronavirus.
Stocks were set to fall more than 2 percent this week and the dollar was on track for its strongest week since April as concern over the economic effect of a second wave of virus-related lockdowns continued to weigh on investors’ risk appetite.
JPMorgan is the latest Wall Street bank to slash its US economic growth forecast due to weakened hopes for near-term stimulus. The bank lowered its fourth-quarter 2020 estimate to 2.5 percent from 3.5 percent and cut its first-quarter 2021 growth forecast to 2 percent from 2.5 percent.