Despite commitments to the Paris…
The oil markets have been…
Despite a sharp drop on Thursday, oil prices are set for another weekly gain as well as a monthly one driven by tight supply coupled with perhaps surprisingly resilient demand.
Bloomberg attributed the Thursday drop to technical resistance as well as speculation that Saudi Arabia may start rolling back the cuts if prices rose too high. Theoretically, that may be true. The question, however, is what level of prices would be too high to sustain with limited supply.
There was also concern about more rate hikes from the Fed that would dampen demand and pressure prices, although so far this year this has failed to happen despite a long string of rate hikes.
Reuters noted oil prices could end the week with a gain of 2%, driven by stronger demand from China and tighter supply in the United States, where the critically low level of inventories at Cushing have served as additional fuel for the price rally.
“We’re running out of oil – you can see how low storage is at Cushing,” Gary Ross, hedge fund manager at Black Gold Investors, told Bloomberg. “If we’re running out at Cushing, then we’re running out in Europe, because it relies on US exports. If the US exports less, then where is Europe going to get its oil from?”
In reality, there are plenty of places Europe can get oil from, as long as it pays the higher prices because all benchmarks are on the rise. And prices may continue higher into November, as suggested by Kpler’s Matt Smith.
“Waterborne exports in October are still likely to come in close to 4 million barrels a day,” Smith told Bloomberg. “The lagged impact of the tightening Brent-WTI spread means we may not see the full impact until November’s loadings.”
Meanwhile, U.S. production is not rising fast enough. The EIA even saw it falling in the shale patch this month, although by a modest rate, meaning there is no alternative source of oil supply while Saudi and Russia keep a lid on theirs.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.