As gas price continue to plummet the question become will gas prices ever go up again. While tropical Debby churns away in the Gulf and could cause a price spike in the big picture as I have said before the era of high gas prices has ended. As the global economy goes through major retracting we are entering what should be a lost decade for gasoline demand growth. The frantic global demand growth that we saw in China and the emerging market will level out as Europe and the rest of the globe continues to work its way out of decades of borrowing and unsustainable spending. We also see major problems in India where the Rupee is tanking as the government steps away from pro-business policies that will set bank the Indian economy back years as well as the expected car demand expectations that have been built into future prices
. In the US gasoline demand is falling while the production of oil continues to rise. This comes against a backdrop of cars with better fuel economy as hybrids will become cheaper and more common on the road.
We will also see an era of competing fuels such as natural gas that may start to come into their own just as the global demand picture finally starts to emerge from the aftermath of the economic crisis.
Add to that US demand is leveling out as an aging population and 8 percent unemployment will mean that the demand that we might have expected will never come back.
I have looked at many statistics and trends all over the world and I have come to the conclusion that we will look back at the financial crisis and use it as a major gasoline demand turning point that may be as historic in nature as the Arab oil embargo in the 1970's. While war or storms might cause price spikes in the future the truth is that for gas prices our highs will be lower and so will out lows.
Now once again this is not going to be the type of stuff you are going to read in many market letters and once again I feel that I will be ahead of the curve. My guess is that by this time next year what sounds shocking to some of you today will be common knowledge a year from now.
Now this is not the first time we have been out front with a dramatic call. In 1999-2000 I called a major bottom in oil that at the time seemed crazy and I was in the minority. Yet because of looking at the historic trends for oil and realizing that oil was at a historic low and that demand would soon rise that oil could surge back to the Persian Gulf war highs near $44 a barrel and even higher. I cited demand growth from China a thought that was abhorrent to many who chided me that China doesn't have roads or the infrastructure to support that much oil demand, unless they build it. Later many ended up jumping on the bull bandwagon later jumping over each other to predict higher and higher prices.
For years we kept the bullish calls coming until Late 2007 when I started to worry about the impact of the financial crisis on oil and feared that the out of the ordinary price movements signaled big problems to come.
The problems did come in 2008 and oil had the biggest peak to valley drop in NYMEX history. Many became bullish but then the Fed came with quantitative easing and I said that the Fed Just printed a floor under oil. Then I wrote at QE was wildly bullish for oil. Again not very popular at the time but now is accepted as common knowledge.
Earlier this year I was also not very popular as I responded to a rash of predictions of $5 a gallon gas by saying a return to $300 a gallon gas was more likely than a national average of $5.00. Now of course it looks like $3.00 is a very real possibility and $5.00 gas a pipe dream.
Now looking at the big picture and global demand and production trends as well as the challenges that we will have fixing the global economy the high price that you paid for gasoline this summer may be the highest price you will pay ever. You heard it here first and soon others will be jumping on the gas price peak bandwagon. Just as they jumped o the oil bull market call in oil and the impact of QE on commodities.
The Hill Reports that Senior White House official said Monday that regulations to toughen oversight of oil-and-gas "fracking" on federal lands are on track despite a two-month extension of the public comment period announced last week. Heather Zichal, the top White House energy aide, told reporters that she expects the Interior Department rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, to be completed by year's end.
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