Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Canadian Petro Dollar & Alberta Petroleum Industry Oil Price

The first month of 2016 turned out to be quite harsh for the Canadian dollar and those who use it, giving even more meaning to its pseudonym "the loonie".
Unlike the US Dollar which is riding high at the expense of nearly every other currency, the rate given for the Canadian (and Russia) version dipped to just under 68 cents breaking 25+ year lows (early 1990's was the last time the currency was anywhere close to current levels).

petro dollar, canadian dollar, oil price, chart, oil companies, costco canada, same store sales, petroleum industry, gas price,
You might ask: why is there such a strong correlation between the loonie and the oil price ?  and why doesn't the US dollar share that relationship to oil all things considered. 

ExxonMobil XOM, Chevron Corporation CVX are two of America's largest companies; oil companies represent 6% of the nasdaq 500; 3 of the 5 highest yieilding s&p 500 stocks are oil companies; United States oil production now ranks second behind Saudi Arabia.

look no futher than gdp vs the petroleum industry

Canada may produce less oil than the United States but its economy is nine times smaller and that makes it more dependent on the commodity (7% of gdp directly - tens of billions of dollars in capital expenditures by big oil which for the last five years fueled all of the growth in the only job-creating provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan).  Also note that the USA only recently started exporting oil abroad - Canada exports nearly all of its oil to the United States thanks to a lack of oil refineries out west (Canada's biggest refinery is on the east coast and there are currently no pipelines going west to east).
Another thing to consider is the quality of oil that Canada produces.  Canadian oil is more like tar - it requires heavy processing before it can even be used by refineries.  This adds costs to usage and makes it less attractive to potential buyers.

What was the perfect set of conditions stateside turned out to be the perfect storm for Canadians

While Americans were being spoiled with 10 cents per litre gas price, Canadians faced rapid inflation thanks to their dependancy on the US for food ($8 cauliflower was commonplace).

Costco Conquers Canada

According to the most recent results out of Costco Canada, same store sales are up by a record 9% twice what it is stateside and triple that reported by Canadian grocery leaders Loblaw Companies and Sobeys.