As OPEC producers and representatives gather in the Middle East, The Times of Llama can report that representatives from the Llaman Space Program were in attendance at the meeting, without being officially listed as an attendee. The obvious question is why were they trying to hide the fact that they were at the OPEC meeting?
The Times of Llama has been conducting an undercover investigation into the activities of the Llaman Space Program over the past few months. What we can report is some interesting activities around securing fuel sources for the program. Representatives of the program have travelled extensively to the Middle East on multiple occasions. As a side issue, The Times calls on the Llaman Government to closely scrutinise the expense accounts of the representatives, some of them seem to be having a pretty good time on the public purse (but there is no real news in that story because that is just what government representatives do, right?!).
Oil prices have risen for around $26/barrel to current range in$45-50/barrel. With global economic growth anaemic at best, what has been the driver of increase in oil-prices? With the US Federal Reserve looking at increasing interest rates in response to higher inflation data, it is critical to understand the answer to this question. The impact on the global economy from movements in US interest rates will likely be profound.
The Times of Llama has been reviewing oil import data for the Kingdom of Llama, in addition to reviewing port data showing oil tanker docking. What we can report is a dramatic increase in Llaman oil imports over the last 12 to 18 months. Whilst Llaman GDP has consistently grown at 5-7% per annum, there appears no relationship between these growth rates and a need to triple oil imports.
With the dramatic increase in oil imports, and no obvious increase in oil demand beyond ‘business as usual’, the question is what is the reason for the increase and where has the oil gone? After all, with millions of barrels of oil, it must be somewhere.
The Times of Llama have discovered that in 2013, the Llaman Space Program dramatically increased the capacity of its underground oil storage tanks. The construction work was not subject to a public tender and construction firms involved are contractually bound to silence. A former employee of one of the construction firms, speaking anonymously, said the expansion program was continuing, with capacity for another one million barrels of oil currently under construction with a completion date of December 2018. This would appear to answer the question of where the oil has gone but the question of why remains.
The answer may lie in a previously unnoticed spike in the oil price for delivery in late 2019. Traders have previously been trying to explain a large long position built over the past 12 months for oil delivered between May 2019 and November 2019.
The Times of Llama can bring all these separately unrelated events together to provide the answers. The Llaman Government, through the Space Program, has been secretly building up its oil storage capacity. It has also been buying oil in quantities sufficient to move the market over time. These purchases reach a crescendo in late 2019, with the oil to be stored in the completed storage tanks. The oil will fuel the rockets required to transport Llamans into space to meet the Mayans on the day of Llamageddon. These oil purchases on the open market have been driving oil prices up. Rising oil prices is increasing both producer and consumer inflation, in particular, inflation expectations. With rates remaining unchanged, increased inflation expectations is producing negative real interest rates in the US. With the US GDP growing and Trumponomics on the way, Yellen is forced to raise interest rates. It’s all pretty obvious when you look at things this way and it is all because of Llamageddon.
So, again readers, we urge you to make preparations for Llamageddon and become a Llaman citizen. Just in case. Really, how many times do you need to be told?