Crude oil may continue to be rangebound in the near term. US crude oil production is continuously rising. This is a matter of concern for the market.
Ravindra V Rao
Crude oil prices rose last week on expectations of a trade deal between US and China. The dollar fell sharply, supporting crude oil prices. During the middle of the week, crude oil traded rangebound as markets awaited latest inventory data for further direction.
The API reported a build-up in crude oil inventories, though smaller than expected. Hence, the crude oil prices rallied. Optimism that OPEC would re-balance the crude oil market led to a sharp rise in the price.
Trade talks between the US and China were going smoothly, hence, sentiment was bullish. However, a rise in the EIA's crude oil inventories contained the gains in crude oil prices. US crude oil production touched 12 million barrels a day. This weighed on crude oil prices.
Base metals recovered last week on account of weakness in the dollar. Optimism regarding a trade deal between the US and China pushed base metals higher. India's Supreme Court prevented the restart of a mine that generates a shade under 2 percent of the world's copper supply.
PT Freeport Indonesia's copper concentrate export permit expired on February 15 and the company did not receive export recommendations from the mining ministry that would help it obtain a new permit.
These two factors, therefore, led to a sharp rise in copper prices on expectations of supply disruption. However, profit booking after the sharp rally contained the gains. The US, Germany and the eurozone manufacturing PMI data posted weak readings. This also pressurized base metals.
Going ahead, crude oil may continue to be rangebound in the near term. US crude oil production is continuously rising. This is a matter of concern for the market. Output is expected to rise further in the coming months due to the shale boom.
Non-OPEC supply is expected to average 64.34 million barrels per day in 2019, up from 62.17 million the previous year. Even though optimism regarding a trade deal between the US and China exists, there is no guarantee that this bonhomie would last or not. Inventories are quite volatile. However, expectations that OPEC would rebalance the market might support crude oil.
The crisis in Venezuela is deepening and could lead to supply disruption. Hence, there is no clear direction for crude at the moment. Overall, the short-term outlook for crude is mixed.
The author is Head - Commodity Research & Advisory, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by investment expert on moneycontrol.com are his own and not that of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.