The hurricanes have rattled energy markets, with Irma shutting Florida fuel stations and ports and Harvey earlier halting about one-quarter of the nation’s refining capacity. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts the two storms will initially impact crude demand by about 600,000 barrels a day, though the recovery will likely raise consumption and offset that loss.
“There’s a little bit of uncertainty around Hurricane Irma and the impact it’s going to have,” said Daniel Hynes, a Sydney-based analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “That’s resulting in prices remaining stuck around current levels. We are expecting prices to push up into the high $50s by the end of the year, probably not breaching $60 till early next year.”
West Texas Intermediate for October delivery was at $48.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 3 cents, at 7:45 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 14 percent below the 100-day average. Prices rose 59 cents to $48.07 on Monday.
Brent for November settlement slid 7 cents to $53.77 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after gaining 6 cents on Monday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.20 to November WTI.
Irma made landfall Sunday as a Category 4 storm, battering Miami before beginning its march up the coast as its fury began to dissipate. Seven million utility customers across the U.S. are without power and the storm is forecast to drop 8 to 15 inches of rain in its wake in parts of northern Florida.