posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 07:21 PM
Hellfire3, I think its pretty much a given that oil market speculators are in large part responsible for the surge in prices.
Demand growth in Asia appears to be stabilizing. China's oil imports for the first half of '05 grew at a 4% rate over last year. Compare that to
the same period in '04, where imports grew at nearly 10 times that rate. They seem to be getting their electrical power generation problems under
control, which has resulted in less gasoline/diesel generator use and more consumption of coal. Meanwhile, one can go to the pump and buy all the
gasoline that he or she can afford. Demand has increased, but we have not reached the point where demand even meets supply, much less exceeds it.
There is no shortage. In fact, US gasoline and crude stocks are well above average for this time of year. If this continues, its going to be
tough for the oil market to maintain these prices without a correction.
Its also a matter of simple economics. There's only a finite supply of money in the hands of consumers. As these fuel prices increase, they also
sharply reduce the amount of disposable income that people have to spend on other goods. Demand for those goods declines and because of this,
demand for oil will also decline as there will be less need to transport material inputs to factories and to transport final products to market. The
result is that you get a recession, which will certainly pop the oil bubble. Given the potential for oil prices to stifle international trade, I
think this one is a certainty within the next 6-12 months at the rate we're going.