Oil prices reach new highNews // June 9, 2016
Oil prices reached new multi-month highs on 8 June: at US$51.6 per barrel, Brent was at its highest price since October 2015, and the same applied to WTI at US$50.6 per barrel.
Commerzbank Research said prices have been boosted by reports of another attack on oil facilities in Nigeria shortly after the Nigerian government had announced talks with the rebel group responsible for the attacks. In addition, the API reported that US crude oil stocks had declined by an unexpectedly sharp 3.6 million barrels and that oil stocks at Cushing had dropped significantly by 1.3 million barrels, which outweighed the surprising rise in gasoline and distillate stocks.
Commerzbank said the fact that China imported almost 40 per cent more crude oil in May than in the same month last year – according to data from the Chinese customs authorities – also hit the headlines.
"That said, this sharp rise was attributable to a base effect because oil imports in May 2015 were the lowest in the whole of last year. Month-on-month, oil imports were actually slightly down," said Commerzbank. "Chinese oil imports in the first five months of the year combined were 16 per cent up on the same period last year, however."
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has revised its estimates for US crude oil production this year and next only marginally and expects output to fall by 830,000 barrels per day in 2016, to be followed by a decline of 420,000 barrels per day in 2017.
There was also little change to the forecasts for worldwide oil demand, the EIA envisaging increases of 1.5 million barrels per day in both 2016 and 2017.