Red-Hot Resources

"Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gustav Menace, and Other Stories

I exited a bullish oil position in Red-Hot Commodity ETFs yesterday because of oil’s lackluster response to Hurricane Gustav. It turns out some traders with long ears may have already heard about the bearish product demand that came out after the market closed yesterday. In short, oil product demand dropped 5.6% in June, more than expected. With that news out of the way, oil is up again, but not as much as you might think with a hurricane seeming to take aim at Louisiana.

If you’ve been reading my stuff, you know that I keep saying “Drill-Drill-Drill” isn’t a real answer, because we don’t have enough drill rigs and we don’t have enough crews for those rigs. Now, it turns out the shortage of trained rig workers is even more acute than first thought.

Meanwhile, here’s a story I find interesting …

The winds of change in our energy consumption could still be light years away. Wind accounts for less than 1 per cent of the energy produced in Canada (Ontario is the wind-farm leader). The Canadian Wind Energy Association believes it can be 5 per cent by 2010.

The European Wind Energy Association is predicting that 28 percent of the European Union's electrical consumption will be supplied by wind turbines by 2030; currently, it's about 3 percent. In the U.S., they're talking about a target of 20 percent in 20 years. Now, it's less than 1 percent.

XX Sean’s note -- this sounds daunting, but on the other hand, MIT says we could cut our gasoline/diesel use in half by 2035 by transitioning as quickly as possible to lightweight and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Another story I'm watching ...

Medvedev: We’re ‘not afraid’ of a new Cold War
XX Sean’s note: Not that anyone’s asking, but I’m not in favor of provoking the Russian bear. We have a weak hand right now because our assets are tied up in that Godforsaken hell-hole called Iraq. The Russians have a strong hand, they know it, and they’re not afraid to play it (as Georgia found out).

In Other News …

Durable-Goods Orders in U.S. Unexpectedly Climbed 1.3% in July on Exports Orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly increased in July, indicating growing demand from abroad is still helping companies weather a slump in consumer spending.

Corn, Soybeans, Wheat Advance as Dollar Weakens Against Euro, Crude Gains Corn and soybeans rallied as a drop in the dollar boosted the appeal of U.S. supplies for overseas importers and rising energy costs increased demand prospects for biofuel. Wheat gained for the first time in four days.

Gold Advances in London on Investor Demand for Safe Haven, Falling Dollar Gold rose in London on demand for precious metals as a haven from housing-related financial losses and an alternative investment to the declining dollar.

XX Sean’s note – you mean investors FINALLY noticed that there are severe housing-related financial losses and that that might be a reason to buy gold? Why the heck didn’t that happen LAST month? My timing on this stuff leaves much to be desired.

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