Granted, oil’s surge is nowhere near as high as bitcoin’s in 2017. But few things will ever be.
Since hitting a recent low on 22 June, the basket of OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) crude oil prices has rallied more than 44%. In the last 12 months, the same basket is up more than 40%.
Like bitcoin, there’s a lot of speculation surrounding the future price of oil. Will it climb further? Can it break US$100 a barrel?
Supply and Demand
It’s extremely hard to predict future prices, especially those of commodities. But you’d have to agree that if the supply of oil continues to fall, then prices should continue to increase.
If you haven’t been following the market, OPEC nations have agreed to limit supplies up until the end of next year.
As reported by The Australian Financial Review:
‘All OPEC members support extending their oil production cuts until the end of 2018, although Russia hasn’t yet committed to the proposal before Thursday’s meeting in Vienna, said people familiar with the matter.
‘While Russia and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have crafted the outline of a deal to continue their curbs for nine months beyond the current end-March expiry, Moscow still has concerns that supporting oil prices above $US60 a barrel will help US shale rivals, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
‘This situation underscores the dilemma faced by the 24 oil producers who forged a historic agreement to curb output a year ago. Signs of success are clear — global fuel stockpiles are draining and crude prices are near two-year highs. Yet ministers gathering in the Austrian capital this week have little idea how US shale producers will respond if they continue to restrain their own output until the end of 2018. Until recently, Russia and OPEC member Kuwait had been insisting the decision on extension should be delayed until early next year, hoping the outlook would be clearer.’
China Continues to Increase Oil Consumption
While supplies dry up, massive nations like China continue to increase their oil consumption. In March this year, China imported 38.95 million barrels of oil. It shattered all previous records. As Reuters reported:
‘China’s crude oil imports surged to an all-time high in March to nearly 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd), customs data showed on Thursday, far surpassing expectations and overtaking the United States as independent refiners ramped up their purchases.
‘The March imports came in at 38.95 million tonnes, or 9.17 million bpd, according to the General Customs Administration.’
And there’s no telling whether we’ve seen the peak of China’s demand yet — a fact which bodes well for oil prices.
Junior Analyst, Markets & Money
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