Crude oil prices are currently steady. WTI is slightly higher, while Brent crude is slightly weaker. Yesterday, crude oil benchmarks fell in the earlier part of the day. Following a report from the International Energy Agency claiming that spare capacity "may be stretched to its limit" thanks to production losses in many parts of the world, crude oil prices moved higher. Specifically, WTI found support near the bottom end of our indicated trading range. The past two trading sessions have been accompanied by strong trading volumes, a sign that traders are reacting to the latest developments in the commodity. Today's WTI trading range is $69.50 - $75.40.
Looking at the latest news, Chinese crude oil imports fell for the second month in a row. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, June imports totaled 8.36 million barrels per day. While the recent figures are fairly weak, total year-to-date Chinese imports are still 5.8% above comparable figures for 2017. As the world's largest crude oil importer, traders pay close attention to changes in Chinese buying patterns. As crude oil is currently in a bull market, changes in demand tend to have a smaller influence on prices. Instead, trading in the commodity continues to be dominated by developments regarding supply.
Earlier this week, crude oil prices fell sharply after several news reports regarding increases in supply. Specifically, Libyan exports are expected to jump after the country's state oil company lifted a force majeure on major oil ports. Beyond Libya, both Saudi Arabia and Russia have also increased their crude oil production according to recent data. While crude oil has fallen sharply this week, our outlook on the commodity remains bullish.
|July 6||Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 06/JUL||863||858|
|July 10||API Crude Oil Stock Change 6/JUL||-6.796M||-4.5M|
|July 11||EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change 06/JUL||-12.633M||1.245M|
|July 11||EIA Gasoline Stocks Change 06/JUL||-0.694M||-1.505M|
|July 13||Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 13/JUL||863|