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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oil Analysis and More

A monthly Energy Department report said demand for finished petroleum products dropped 8.5% in February from January -- to 573,677 million barrels from 623,545 million barrels -- and demand for gasoline fell by 6.2%, to 256,422 million barrels from 273,235 million barrels in January.

News articles have said (and I'm quoting from one): "Though some of that drop
can be attributed to February's being a shorter month, it still suggests high prices are cutting American's appetite for fuel."

Let's do the math ...

January -- 273,235 divided by 31 days = 8.81 million barrels per day

February -- 256,422 divided by 29 days = 8.84 million barrels per day*.

Indeed, it seems that per-day gasoline usage increased (slightly) from January to February. With the margin of error, demand was basically unchanged.

You wouldn't believe how many media people I've talked to in the last two days who have been bamboozled by this.

On the other hand, traders fell for the government's BS too, so they shouldn't feel bad.

Here's a chart for you...
*29 days this past February, which was a Leap Year.

In other news ...


Dollar Heads for Monthly Gain Versus Euro on View Federal Reserve to Pause The dollar is set for its first monthly advance against the euro this year on speculation a cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve today will be followed by comments signalling policy makers are about done with easing.


K+S Shows How Widening Food Shortage Means Potash Shares Can't Find Peak Two days after Barron's magazine sent shares of potash makers lower with a March 18 article predicting a sell-off, India's largest importer agreed to more than double the price it pays for the fertilizer.

Corn Futures Rise in Chicago, Head for Eighth Monthly Advance; Soybeans Up Corn prices in Chicago rose, heading for an eighth straight monthly gain on speculation U.S. farmers will plant less in favor of other more profitable crops. Soybeans advanced for the first time in six days and wheat was also higher.


Gold Falls to Three-Month Low in London Trading as Investors Sell Metal Gold fell to a three-month low in London on signs that investors are selling metal held through exchange-traded funds. Platinum and silver also dropped.

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