Oil prices didn’t move much last week – Weekly recap 16-20 May

Crude oil prices, just like other major commodities’ prices, continue to slow down in the level of change during last week; as a result, oil prices didn’t present a clear upward or downward trend; this might be due to the markets’ uncertainty in regards to the future direction of crude oil prices, and the forces that will affect them from demand and supply side – for a complete analysis see here.

Let review the changes from last week (May 16th to May 20th) in regards to crude oil prices (Brent oil and WTI), and a summary of the recent EIA petroleum report:

Crude oil prices – highlights


table crude spot oil prices -  16-20 MAY 2011

WTI spot oil price inclined during the week by 2.66%; on the other hand, its weekly average price decreased by 1.60% and reached 98.27$/b, compared to last week’s 100.11$/b. The average daily percent change of crude oil price (WTI) was 0.08%.

NYMEX Futures Price (June delivery) also inclined by 2.83 during the week, and reached 100.10$/b on Friday.

Europe Brent spot oil price fell by 0.83% from beginning to end, and its average price decreased by 2.17% compared to previous week’s average.

The difference between the Brent and WTI spot prices continues to fluctuate very rapidly and reached on Friday 13.29$/b, but the average premium didn’t change much (compared to the previous week) and reached 13.77$/b with a standard deviation of 1.74$/b.

Crude oil charts

The following chart shows the trend of WTI spot oil price, NYMEX Futures Prices (June delivery) and Europe Brent spot oil price during last week:

The chart shows that WTI and Brent spot oil prices didn’t change much as WTI spot oil moderately inclined during the week and Brent oil moderately declined.

Crude spot oil prices WTI BRENT charts - 16-20 MAY 2011 The second chart shows the daily percent changes (i.e. changes around the trend) of crude oil price (WTI spot oil, WTI future, Brent spot oil):

Crude spot oil price chart WTI Brent oil - percent change  16-20 MAY 2011

In the chart above Brent and WTI spot oil fluctuated very moderately, except on Wednesday when WTI oil price rose by 3.8% and Brent oil rose by 2.9%; they fluctuated above and below the zero mark.

Petroleum Stocks –highlights:

In last week’s EIA report on petroleum stocks, consumption and production, U.S. Petroleum and oil stocks remained unchanged during after they rose by 6.5 million barrels a week earlier. For the week ending on May 13th the oil stocks remained on 1,774.0 million barrels – the highest level since February 25th, 2011.

Weekly U.S. Ending Stocks of Crude Oil and WTI spot oil price 2011 May 13

The chart above shows the low petroleum and oil stocks compared to the same time during 2010; furthermore, the WTI spot oil prices is very high compared to the same week last year, despite the recent drop in oil prices in recent weeks.

In total, during last week there were rises in imports and refineries inputs and no changes in US production and petroleum stocks.

For the complete petroleum stocks review see here.


For further reading (on this site):

Previous issues of weekly report: