The Market Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (NYSEArca: CRAK) is still less than a month old and since the first exclusive refiners exchange traded fund came to market on Aug. 19, it has followed the energy sector lower.
However, CRAK is starting to show signs of strength with a September gain of 3.5%, indicating the rookie ETF is starting to make good on the notion that refining equities can excel when oil prices slump. CRAK tries to reflect the performance of the Market Vectors Global Oil Refiners Index, a modified market cap-weighted index that follows the largest and most liquid companies in the global oil refining industry.
The oil refinery business may benefit from lower crude oil prices, or lower input costs. The price of finished products such as gasoline, diesel and fuel oil can affect a refinery’s profitability. Consequently, the difference between the cost of crude oil and the price of the products, or so-called crack spread, is a common indicator of the potential profits.
CRAK came to market at a time when U.S. refineries are running at record levels and the U.S. Energy Information Administration adds to the bull case for the ETF.
EIA estimates “that refinery runs will average 16.7 million b/d from April through September and then decline slightly in the fourth quarter to 16.2 million b/d before falling further to 15.8 million b/d in the first quarter of 2016. Following the winter period of lower demand and refinery maintenance, EIA’s expects U.S. refinery runs will reach new highs next summer, averaging 16.9 million b/d in third quarter of 2016.” [Refiners ETF Could be a Winner]