But it’s the short side of the story – a potential global helium shortage – which has re-piqued my interest this week. The story goes that the US has been stockpiling helium in ‘The Federal Helium Reserve’ (no, really) – an underground reservoir near Amarillo – since it was built in 1929. There is also a processing plant and 450 miles of pipelines. The US produces about 75% of the world’s helium, with half of that stored in the aforementioned reserve.
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The long side subject I was initially off on a tangent about was the speculative positions in crude. According to CFTC data, WTI saw non-commercial (speculative) positions reach a record high level in recent weeks – coinciding with the recent high of $108.
But as Fed taper fears have tapered optimism, these positions have been unwound somewhat, and WTI prices have eased lower from near the highs of the year. As for Brent crude, further support from geopolitical tension on seventeen different fronts has meant that speculative longs for Brent have reached a record high in the latest data out earlier this week.
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