Expectations of filling the US Strategic Reserve raise oil prices

Expectations of filling the US Strategic Reserve raise oil prices prices rose in trading today, Thursday, after losses that lasted for 3 days, thanks to expectations that the decline in price levels will prompt the United States to refill the strategic oil reserve, thus setting a minimum limit for the decline in prices.

Expectations Of Filling The Us Strategic Reserve Raise Oil Prices

Prices fell by more than 3% yesterday, Wednesday, to the lowest level in 7 weeks after the Federal Reserve (the US Central Bank) kept interest rates unchanged, which may curb economic growth this year and limit increases in demand for oil.

Oil was also under pressure from an unexpected increase in US crude inventories and indications that a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Palestinian resistance is imminent, which will allay fears about Middle East supplies.

Trading prices

Expectations Of Filling The Us Strategic Reserve Raise Oil Prices

Brent crude futures for the nearest delivery rose 69 cents, or 0.83%, to $84.13 per barrel, at the time of writing the report, and a barrel of US crude rose 58 cents, or 0.73%, to $79.58 per barrel.

“The oil market received support from speculation that if WTI falls below $79, the United States will move to fill its strategic reserves,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, president of NS Trading, a unit of Nissan Securities, according to what Reuters quoted him as saying.

The United States says it is seeking to refill the strategic oil reserve after a historic withdrawal from emergency stocks in 2022, and that it wants to buy back oil at a price of $79 per barrel or less.

In the Middle East, expectations have increased that a ceasefire agreement will soon be reached in the Gaza Strip after a new effort by Egypt.

Despite this, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to go ahead with the attack that he has been threatening for a long time on the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, despite the American position and the United Nations warning that this will lead to a “tragedy.”

“With the impact of the increase in US crude inventories imminent and the Federal Reserve indicating that interest rates will remain high for a longer period of time, attention will turn to the results of the talks related to Gaza,” said Vandana Hari, an oil market analysis firm, “Vanda Insights.”

She added, “As long as the latest wave of optimism regarding the ceasefire continues, I expect the downward trend in crude oil to continue.”

US stocks

Expectations Of Filling The Us Strategic Reserve Raise Oil Prices

The US Energy Information Administration said that crude inventories rose by 7.3 million barrels to 460.9 million barrels in the week ending April 26, compared to analysts’ expectations of a decline of 1.1 million barrels.

The administration stated that crude inventories reached their highest levels since last June.

But the continuation of the OPEC+ alliance, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, in supply cuts will support prices.

Analysts at Citi Research expect the OPEC+ alliance to maintain production cuts during the second half of the year when it meets on June 1.

But they said in a note: “If prices move into the strong range of $90-$100 or more, OPEC+ will likely taper cuts, providing room for a lower oil price ceiling.”

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