Crude oil traders are showing increasing confidence that U.S. economic growth will rebound next year as they take advantage of the widening gap between current prices of crude and contracts for delivery six months from now. The price advantage, or contango, to buy and hold crude more than doubled to $5.76 a barrel last month from $2.60 at the end of July, as contracts for October delivery fell 9.4 percent and March dropped 5.3 percent. ConocoPhillips hired the tanker TI Europe for storage in the Gulf of Mexico, according to data on the website of RS Platou A/S, an Oslo based shipbroker.
Crude, gasoline and heating oil inventories reached a 20 year high last month as the U.S. Commerce Department said the economy probably expanded at a 1.6 percent annual pace in the second quarter from an initially reported 2.4 percent. The gap, or curve, between the price of oil for immediate delivery and for March has increased to a three month high, making storage a profitable wager on an American rebound next year.
“Demand is going to look a lot better in 2011,” said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington, who predicted prices will rise to $80 next year. “By then the overall numbers on things like industrial production, housing, investment and probably even consumer sentiment will be better.” October futures rose 63 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $74.72 a barrel at 10:05 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The March contract rose 6 cents to $80.35. The spread narrowed by 7.5 percent to $5.63.....Read the entire article.
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