Crude Market Oscillating between bearish and bullish sentiments
- 25-Apr-2022 12:33 PM
- Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa
Considering a well-developed relationship with volatility, the prices of Crude are on the rise again after rebounding from the lowest levels in late February. Oil prices have seen yet another wave of increased instability as the Russia-Ukraine situation enters its third month. Russian troops have intensified their attack on eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, prompting the Group of Seven nations' finance ministers and Central Bankers to declare that they aim to isolate Moscow from the global economy for its unjustified "war of aggression."
The crisis is expected to devolve into a war of attrition, with Russian officials hoping for the defenders to surrender after running out of food or ammunition while the attention switches to the Donbas. Trying to interpret the oil markets at this moment, however, is like looking into a clairvoyance. The European Union is still considering an embargo on Russian oil, but despite the lack of formal agreement, a number of consumers appear to be taking matters into their own hands by purchasing their Crude Oil from elsewhere, adding to the world market's general tightness.
Although there are still plenty of supply threats that may send oil prices surging, oil markets have been dominated by the bearish sentiment this week as a result of weakening Chinese demand and the prospect of a global economic downturn. The possibility of weaker global economic growth has weighed on crude prices, with the U.S. Federal Reserve hinting at a half-point rate hike at its next policy meeting in May and China's COVID difficulties growing ever lengthier, with Shanghai announcing yet another round of lockdowns. With the European Union (E.U.) considering oil sanctions against Russia and Libya on the verge of civil war, there are still upside risks, but for now, bearish sentiment is dragging prices lower.
Perhaps there could be several reasons for the Crude market to be bullish rather than bearish. To begin with, U.S. oil and gas futures are becoming progressively bullish, with February 2023 natural gas futures trading above $7/MMBtu. Secondly, as countries across the world strive to replace Russian supplies in the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict, U.S. energy exports have reached new highs. The United States crude and petroleum exports soared to an all-time weekly high of 10.6 million b/d during the week ending April 15, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), with exports outnumbering imports by the highest in government data dating back to 1990.