Oil Prices Steady & Trailer Orders Plunge | Weekly News Update

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Oil Steadies as Demand Uncertainty Tempers Supply Cuts

Oil prices have seen upward price pressure in the past four weeks but were steady on Monday, with holidays in Singapore, London, and New York dulling trade. In addition, there are rising concerns over demand recovery offset supply cuts.

There are concerns over travel patterns in the U.S. as lockdowns are lifted. The American Automobile Association which typically delivers a forecast of how many Americans will be on the road during the Memorial Day holiday did not provide the report this year siting uncertainty.

Another concern over the outlook for demand is the rising tensions between the U.S. and China. Relations between two of the biggest oil consumers in the world have soured since the coronavirus outbreak. Recently Beijing has made moves to impose security legislation on Hong Kong. These actions have aided the tensions between the two countries as they are at odds over Hong Kong, human rights, trade, and U.S. support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

April trailer orders plunge to 1990 levels

April trailer orders plummeted to the lowest level seen since 1990 — a mere 300 units. That marked a 98% drop year-over-year, according to an FTR report issued Friday. Trailer orders for the past 12 months now total 162,000 units.

With so many factories slowed or shut down, dry vans, heavily dependent on industrial production, are taking the biggest hit from the downturn. FTR confirmed that on Friday when it found the dry van segment “was hit particularly hard.” Still, with only 300 total orders in April, refrigerated van orders suffered as well, FTR reported.


Top Energy Stories

WSJ: Oil Price Disruption Eases as Physical Crude Demand Jumps

In a sign that oil markets are returning to relative normality, the once yawning gap between the price of an actual physical barrel of oil and futures prices has narrowed sharply.

JWN: ‘Immense amount of pain’ predicted for Canadian oilfield services sector

Canada’s oilfield services sector is in for “an immense amount of pain” over at least the next year thanks to low North American oil and gas exploration activity amid a worldwide glut of cheap crude, according to a report from CIBC.

WSJ: Coronavirus Threatens to Hobble the U.S. Shale-Oil Boom for Years

American shale drillers helped turn the U.S. into the world’s top oil producer, topping 13 million barrels a day earlier this year. It likely will be years—if ever—before they reach such heights again.

REUTERS: Iranian fuel tanker docks in Venezuelan port, more underway

The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela has moored at a port serving the South American country’s El Palito refinery, the nation’s oil minister said Monday, and Refinitiv Eikon data showed a second vessel had entered its waters.


Top Freight Transportation Stories

TRANSTOPICS: Comcar Industries Declares Bankruptcy

Comcar Industries announced May 17 it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to sell its five operating companies as part of the legal process.

TRANSDIVE: Trucking recovery to begin in 2021 with inflationary spot market

Fewer carriers, shippers, and brokers are having problems operating. But during the webinar, participants discussed returning to fully normal operations, and identified problems, from adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to making sure suppliers can deliver.

TRANSDIVE: 13 trucking groups, carriers file documents in support of CTA’s AB5 lawsuit

From the uptick in truck movement in early March to the plunge in spot rates in April, to the slight recovery so far in May, the coronavirus has created volatile market conditions. Some owner-operators in California have maintained contracts that have kept them out of the open market — a scenario that may not be possible under AB5.


Top Economic Stories

CNBC: Jobless claims total 2.4 million, still elevated levels but a declining pace from previous weeks

First-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 2.44 million last week as the tail effects of the coronavirus shutdown continued to impact the U.S. jobs market.

JWN: China drops key environmental target as coronavirus hits growth

As well as forgoing a numerical target for economic growth, the coronavirus pandemic has forced China to drop a second key measurement on energy conservation that is used to mark progress in the battle against climate change.

BLOOMBERG: Oil retreats from two-month high with doubts over China economy

Oil retreated from the highest level in more than two months with doubts emerging over the strength of China’s economic recovery and as tensions rose between Washington and Beijing.


This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at info@breakthroughfuel.com.

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