In the week since our last edition of What’s Affecting Oil Prices, Brent rose $0.24/bbl last week to average $71.62/bbl while WTI fell $0.29/bbl last week to average $63.80/bbl.
For the week ahead, we expect prices to see a lift from the Iran sanction announcement on Monday morning, with Brent averaging closer to $73/bbl this week but with upside surprise possible.
While we continue to track downside risks, markets are clearly in bull mode and a sharp correction may not be imminent. In the weeks ahead we expect higher than usual refinery maintenance in the United States to lead to crude builds, which could begin to weigh on prices.
While demand remains healthy, it is not surprising to the upside. When it comes to global supply, the Iran waiver announcement could tighten supply, but likely not as much as current market reactions suggest. Iranian oil exports are unlikely to fall completely to zero due financial sanctions alone and the removal of waivers actually raises the likelihood that the OPEC+ supply agreement is not renewed in June, adding more supply to markets.
Trader Sentiment: Positive
Refining Margins: Neutral
Brent rose $2.30/bbl last week to average $73.92 last week while WTI rose a slightly slower $1.95/bbl to average $65.78/bbl.
The week ahead will be driven by sentiment more than fundamentals, with funds likely to continue unwinding bullish positions.
Overall crude oil stocks, not including the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell to 466.6 million barrels from their highest levels in 19 months.