What does a survey of total United States petroleum industry inventories (crude and products combined) relative to total products supplied indicate regarding current and near term US petroleum price trends? The very elevated days coverage (end month inventories versus average daily consumption for that calendar month) probably has significantly contributed to the renewed price weakness in the overall petroleum complex that emerged in February 2013.

The broad GSCI established a major high around 762 in spring 2011 (4/11 and 5/2/11 tops), with lower peaks at 717 on 3/1/12 and 699 on 9/14/12. NYMEX crude oil (nearest futures continuation) peaked 5/2/11 at 11483, with lower tops on 3/1/12 at 11055 and 9/14/12 at 10042.

As part of the major longer run downtrend that exists for commodities in general, note the assortment and timing of minor tops made in early 2013 (especially February) in several commodity indices and in numerous particular commodity marketplaces.

Many watch US equities alongside commodities in general and petroleum prices in particular. The S+P 500 in the past three years made springtime highs: 4/26/10 at 1220, 5/2/11 at 1371, and 4/2/12 at 1422. Compare the timing of the high in the S+P 500 during its recent rally, 4/2/13 at 1574. Compare also this 4/2/13 high in the S+P 500 with the timing of the fall off points in the petroleum complex just noted, as well as the renewed tumble in the broad GSCI from its 3/28/13 level around 659.

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US Overall Petroleum Inventories- Enough Is Enough (4-5-13)