How far can your car travel on a gallon of coffee and at what cost?
There’s an old joke about an elderly gentleman who prayed at a shrine every day for 40 years. One day he was approached by an onlooker who asked what he sought. The elderly man answered, “world peace.” The onlooker then asked him how that was working out, and he said, “it’s like talking to a wall.”
In a similar vein, we’ve been solicited for advice on how to combat prospects for higher gasoline prices at the pump. We had an almost identical query about 22 years ago, and frankly, it feels like talking to a wall.
Record sales of emergency oil stockpiles authorized by the current White House are incapable of countering structurally bullish oil balance fundamentals.
There have been 86 million barrels of US strategic petroleum reserve sold since the end of October, and retail gasoline prices have risen $1.24 per gallon over the same period to a new all-time high.
When OPEC agreed last week to extend quotas per the existing framework, we half-expected the group might offer US and European lawmakers some advice to cut fuel taxes if they were interested in helping motorists.
At different times over the past near-40 years of covering global energy markets, we have generated analyzes that examined the comparative costs of various everyday household goods.
If we think about this on a global basis, these are the current per barrel costs of items most would be familiar with: milk $181.16 per barrel; eggs $327.67 per barrel; ketchup $494.76 per barrel; brewed coffee $629.58 per barrel; corn oil $655.20 per barrel; yogurt $782.88 per barrel; butter $1,068.48 per barrel; and Brent crude $119.72 per barrel.
We’re not saying crude oil is a bargain. It certainly was two years ago when we urged clients to be aggressive buyers. But in terms of comparative costs, it is low on the list of typical household purchases and converted to gasoline, it will move you and your family in a vehicle a distance of 30 miles or more in air-conditioned comfort.