By Royce Vargheese Joseph
WTI Crude oil futures ended the previous week 2.9% higher and closed at $93.06 per bbl, as investors weighed on uncertain supply levels from Iran and OPEC against the outlook of lower energy demand. Earlier in the week, Saudi Energy Minister bin Salman flagged the possibility that OPEC+ nations could cut production to counter the ‘disconnect’ in the oil market and potential return of crude exports from Iran. Within 48 hours of comments from Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, fellow members Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela released statements expressing their support.
Meanwhile, US crude oil inventories fell by 3.282 million barrels in the week ended 19th August, while, the volume of crude and products such as diesel exported from the US was the highest in data going back to February 1991, according to EIA. Money managers have increased their bullish Nymex WTI crude oil bets by 30,028 net-long positions to 183,431, weekly CFTC data showed. The net-long position was the most bullish in three weeks as prospects of production cuts boosted investor sentiments.
Crude oil outlook for this week: OPEC+ meeting in focus
Oil might be very volatile for the week and is expected to stay elevated, as supply concerns might outweigh recession fears. The black gold might rally on speculation that the OPEC cartel might curb output in the coming meeting on 5th September amid recent volatility in prices. Meanwhile, Iran said exchanges with the US over a European Union proposal to revive a nuclear deal will drag on into next month, undercutting speculation that an agreement paving the way for increased oil flows was imminent. Renewed clashes between militias in Libya’s capital are sparking fresh supply concerns from the OPEC nation that has two rival governments descending into another full-blown conflict.
Libya’s crude output rebounded to 1.2 million barrels per day in July as officials reached an agreement with protesters. We expect MCX Crude oil September futures to rise towards Rs.7,850 per bbl for the week.
(Royce Vargheese Joseph is a Research Analyst, Commodity at Anand Rathi. The views expressed are the author’s own. Please consult your financial advisor before investing.)