Is WTI Crude Oil Set Within a New Ranging Market?
08.24.2022 By Ricardo Perez - NEWS

August 24, 2022 [FXStreet] – Russian production, the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates, and the weakened dollar. What other factors are driving crude oil prices these days?

 

Macroeconomics

On the macroeconomic side, the greenback diminished its gains on Wednesday following the U.S. Central Bank’s July minutes. Indeed, during its monthly meeting, the Fed appeared to be more hawkish than expected. This raised concerns from some officials in the U.S. Central Bank, who were debating whether the Fed could raise rates too far to regain control of inflation on the one hand, and the need for further hikes on the other.

As I mentioned in my last article published last Thursday, when all data turns into bearish territory for both legs – the greenback and black gold – it is usually the optimism (or pessimism, depending on which point of view we take) triggered by the macroeconomic perspective that leads the markets. In that case, as the news has rather been bullish for the US dollar, it is the one which will set the tempo for the positively or negatively correlated assets.

Fundamental analysis

On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the weekly change in Crude Oil Inventories.

U.S. crude oil inventories

The commercial crude oil reserves in the United States surprised the market by sharply dropping to -7.056M barrels while expectations were just showing a tiny drop (-0.275M barrels).

US crude inventories have thus decreased by over seven million barrels in volume, which is a very significant deviation displaying greater demand and is a strong bullish factor for crude oil prices, since the drop can be explained, in part, by the increase in U.S. crude exports, which more than doubled last week to 5 million barrels per day (Mbpd) against 2.1 Mbpd.

The decline in commercial reserves is due to strong domestic demand and rising exports as US trading partners seek to compensate for the loss of Russian hydrocarbons.

U.S. Gasoline inventories

Like the previous week, U.S. gasoline demand figures have significantly dropped as well:

Graphical user interface, text, applicationDescription automatically generated

This is once again where we could see a sustainable rise in demand marked by an unexpectedly sudden drop in gasoline reserves, since the latter were reduced by four and a half million barrels. Another factor to note is that a few refineries also operated at a lower rate of capacity, at 93.5% versus 94.3%.

Geopolitics

On the geopolitical scene, the ongoing negotiations around the Iranian nuclear agreement, which could allow this major producer to resume its exports, still hover over prices as a bearish factor. However, even a return to the market of Iranian crude oil production would not compensate for the loss of Russian supply. In short, there is little new information about this agreement.

Midweek, black gold gained 5% after rebounding from a 6-month low, as a sharper-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories outweighed fears over rising Russian output, export sales, and recession concerns.

Pro Trial: Access 10,390 Tank Terminal and Production Facilities

10,390 tank storage and production facilities as per the date of this article. Click on the button and register to get instant access to actionable tank storage industry data

Exxon Preparing to Open Its Massive $2B Refinery Expansion in Beaumont
01.30.2023 - NEWS
January 30, 2022 [msn] – Exxon Mobil said Monday it finished building its $2 billion refine... Read More
Valero Has Best Year Ever in 2022 as 4Q Profits Triple, Topping Wall Street Expectations
01.30.2023 - NEWS
January 30, 2022 [San Antonio Express News] – Valero Energy Corp. cruised past Wall Street ... Read More
Mobil Continues to Invest in Australia's Fuel Security
01.30.2023 - NEWS
January 30, 2022 [ExxonMobil] – Melbourne, Australia – Mobil Oil Australia Pty Ltd (Mobil... Read More
Kernel Acquires Terminal In Yuzhny Port
01.30.2023 - NEWS
January 30, 2022 [Ukrainian News] – Kernel Holding, one of the largest operators on the oil... Read More