Crude oil prices are once again moving up - both Brent and WTI are currently rising. Yesterday, crude oil prices were up sharply following Trump's decision to walk away from the Iran nuclear agreement. As supply is likely to fall by 1m barrels per day as a result of Iranian sanctions, prices are rising in response. Note that crude oil is looking overbought on a daily chart, and is likely to undergo a short-term correction as a result.
Turning to recent developments, crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories were all significantly below estimates according to official figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The data suggests that end-user demand for both crude and refined products remains strong in the US. While US production also surged according to last week's data, the increase in US supply has not been able to make up for strong demand coupled with falling OPEC supply. As described earlier, Iranian sanctions are likely to tighten the crude oil market even further. While major powers including China and India have promised to continue buying Iranian crude oil, few countries are willing to ally with Iran over the US given the threat of economic sanctions. Our short-term and medium-term outlook on crude remains bullish.
WTI is currently trading above $71.60. Brent crude is currently above $77.70.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (May 9) showed falling crude oil stocks and falling gasoline inventories. Crude oil inventories (-2.2m vs. -1.0m expected) were lower than expectations. Gasoline stocks were down (-2.2m vs. -0.9m expected) while distillate stocks (-3.8m vs. -1.5m expected) were also down. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices were higher following the EIA report.