The Commodities Feed: Key US CPI Release and Oil Market Outlook

Euro-dollar Support Tested Amidst Rate Concerns and Labor Strikes

The Commodities Feed: Key US CPI release

The oil market rallied more than 2% yesterday, leaving it at the top end of its recent trading range. US CPI data later today will be key for price direction in the immediate term.


Energy: Oil looking to breakout

Oil prices pushed higher yesterday with ICE Brent trading to its highest level since early May and leaving it within striking distance of US$80/bbl. A break above US$80/bbl would see the market finally breaking out of the US$70-80/bbl range that it has been stuck in for more than two months. The market appears to be finally starting to reflect the tighter fundamentals that we see over the second half of 2023. Obviously, additional cuts announced by Saudi Arabia last week will be helping, while hopes of support measures for China’s economy will be offering some further optimism. However, macro developments are still likely to be key for the market in the near term. And today there will be plenty of focus on US CPI numbers. Expectations are for a print of 3.1% year-on-year for June, down from 4% in the previous month. We will need to see the number come in well below consensus to see any significant change to current expectations for the Federal Reserve to hike at its next meeting.

API numbers released overnight were more bearish than expected, with US crude oil inventories increasing by 3MMbbls, while gasoline and distillate stocks also increased by 1MMbbls and 2.91MMbbls, respectively. The market had been expecting some small draws across crude and products. The more widely followed EIA inventory report will be released later today, but obviously, it is likely to be overshadowed by the US CPI release.

Bloomberg ship tracking data shows that Russian seaborne crude oil exports fell by a little more than 1MMbbls/d WoW to 2.86MMbbls/d for the week ending 9 July. This also drags the four-week rolling average down to a little over 3.2MMbbls/d, which is the lowest level seen since January. The market will be watching Russian exports closely, as up until now there have been doubts over whether Russia is actually making the full supply cuts it announced earlier in the year.

Yesterday, the EIA released its latest Short Term Energy Outlook, in which it forecasts 2023 US crude oil production to grow by 680Mbbls/d YoY to average a record 12.56MMbbls/d. Meanwhile, for 2024, supply growth is expected to slow to a little over 280Mbbls/d YoY, which would see output averaging 12.85MMbbls/d. This ties in with the slowdown in drilling activity that we have seen for much of this year. The number of active oil rigs in the US has fallen from a year-to-date high of 623 in January to 540 last week.

Euro-dollar Support Tested Amidst Rate Concerns and Labor Strikes

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