The war in Libya is still far from over, and the uprising in the Middle East in countries such as Syria and Yemen is progressing, and yet for most of the week crude oil prices didn’t do much and moderately changed. The two interest rate hikes that were decided this week might have affected the commodities markets; on Tuesday China raised its interest rate by 0.25 percent points, and on Thursday the ECB decided to raise its basic interest rate by 0.25% points.
These two decisions, especially the latter, might have caused the US dollar to depreciate compared to EURO and other currencies and consequentially raising the major commodities prices such as crude oil prices by the end of the week.
By the end of the week WTI and Brent oil spot and future prices rose compared to their average prices during the previous week.
Here is a recap for the week ending on April 8th on crude oil prices (Brent oil and WTI), and a summary of the recent EIA petroleum report:
Crude oil prices – highlights
Europe Brent spot price inclined by 5.56% from beginning to end, and its average price rose by 5.46% compared to previous week’s average.
The weekly average of Crude oil price (WTI spot) rose by 4.27% and reached 109.58$/b, compared to last week’s 105.08$/b. The average daily change of crude oil price (WTI) was 0.96%, and its price rose by 4.3% from beginning to end of the week.
NYMEX Futures Price (April delivery), much like WTI spot price, increased by 3.99% during the week and reached on Friday 112.79 $/.
The difference between the Brent and WTI spot prices was on Friday 13.95$/b, and the average premium was 12.91$/b during the week with a standard deviation of 1.44$/b.
Crude oil charts
The following chart preset the trend of WTI spot price, NYMEX Futures Prices (May delivery) and Europe Brent spot price during the preceding week:
It shows that WTI and Brent spot prices had a very moderate upward trend for most of the week which increased sharply by the end of the week.
The second graph shows the daily percent changes (i.e. changes around the trend) of crude oil price (WTI spot, WTI future, Brent spot):
The graph shows how Brent oil fluctuated throughout the week, while WTI prices’ percent changes rose during last week.
Petroleum Stocks –highlights:
In this week’s recent review on EIA report, about petroleum stocks, consumption and production: U.S. Ending Stocks of Crude Oil increased by 0.2% or 1.9 million barrels – reaching 1,084 million barrels.
The chart below shows the relation between petroleum stocks and WTI spot oil price in 2010-2011, up to date; it clearly shows how oil prices are much higher today than they were last year at the same time, while the Petroleum stocks are at similar level as they were in the first quarter of 2011. This is yet another example of the effect the recent turmoil in the Middle East has on crude oil prices.
The crude oil refinery inputs (4 week average) reached 14.309 (million b/d), an increase of 0.8% compared to the previous week of 25/3/2011.
In total, last week there was a rise in US production, imports and refineries inputs, and petroleum stocks remained unchanged.
For further reading (on this site):
Previous issues of weekly report:
- Oil prices moderately inclined – Weekly recap 28/3-1/4
- Oil prices started strong & finished weak – Weekly recap 21-25 March
- The erratic behavior of oil prices – Weekly recap 14-18 March