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31.07.2014 15:40

Oil: an overview of the market situation

Prices for Brent crude fell slightly today, dropping at the same time below $ 106 a barrel as higher OPEC production and weak demand in the U.S. outweighed fears of unrest in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine. Add that in July the price of WTI crude oil fell by 5.7% - the maximum reduction for 9 months. Brent since the beginning of the month fell by 5.8%.

Today's data showed that crude oil production in OPEC was greater in July than in the previous month, despite fears that unrest in North Africa and the Middle East could hurt production. Meanwhile, we note that gasoline stocks in the United States rose last week by 365 thousand barrels - up to 218.2 million barrels, the highest level in 4 months. At the same time, the average volume of gasoline consumption in the past four weeks fell by 0.5% - to the lowest level since May, despite the peak driving season in the United States.

"It's incredible that gasoline inventories rose at all, given that the peak demand season now," - said the director of Energy Analytics Group LLC Tom Finlon. Over the past four weeks, gasoline demand in the U.S. fell by 0.5% to 8.948 million barrels. / day.

It should also add that today, analysts Reuters raised its forecast for Brent oil prices in 2014 and 2015 taking into account the geopolitical risks. Average price forecast for 2014 rose to $ 108.60 a barrel from $ 108.00 in June, while the forecast for 2015 - to $ 105.20 from $ 104.80.

"The oil market is roughly balanced, however, oil prices should remain steady range. Do not expect any serious supply problems, as Saudi Arabia will be able to compensate for all the missing supplies, "- said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Meanwhile, we note that the United States for the first time in 40 years sent crude oil for export. On the night of July 31, 2014, the tanker BW Zambesi under the flag of Singapore, left the port of Texas City towards South Korea. The tanker is 400 thousand barrels of oil, the cost of which is estimated at 40 million U.S. dollars. Officially, the U.S. export policy has not changed, especially on the eve of elections, but preliminary shipping oil to South Korea can contribute in the future removal of the ban on exports.

The cost of the September futures on U.S. light crude oil WTI (Light Sweet Crude Oil) fell to $ 99.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

September futures price for North Sea Brent crude oil mixture fell 5 cents to $ 105.96 a barrel on the London exchange ICE Futures Europe.

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