Oil plunged into the red zone in early trading on Friday. At the same time, it recorded gains for the second month in 2021. In general, the price climbed for the fourth month in a row. The current uptrend is a big deal because market participants can now cope with difficulties that sometimes take place in the market in a completely different way. They no longer see them as global problems and therefore do not rush to change their trading strategy.
A strong rise in crude oil prices in recent months also came as a result of well-coordinated actions of OPEC+. The majority of its members willingly cut production in order to support the industry. This helped to stabilize supply which started to level up with demand. All this had a positive effect on global oil surplus that started to reduce. Oil demand is gradually increasing, while the world economy is showing signs of recovery from the crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The overall price of Brent crude oil spiked by 19% in February 2021, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) climbed by 21% for the same period.
If the trend continues, the average crude oil price may soar to $70-80 within the next six months. Analysts have spoken about this earlier, claiming that the mid-term and long-term forecasts for the oil market are highly optimistic.
In addition, growth in oil demand is going strong. Consequently, it may lead to the lack of supply in the market. Under such circumstances, the price may rise sharply. At the same time, OPEC members could gradually increase production. The expansion of output would not happen in one day. Therefore, the market would have time to take advantage of limited supply.
Today, Brent futures contracts for April delivery tumbled by 0.94%, or $0.63, in early trading on the London Stock Exchange. Currently, the benchmark is trading at $66.25 per barrel. Brent crude futures closed in the red zone on Thursday, sinking by 0.2%, or $0.31, to $66.88 per barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery went down 1.13%, or $0.72, to $62.81 per barrel on the New York Stock Exchange. The contracts closed in the green zone on Thursday. By the end of the day, WTI rose by 0.5%, or $0.31, settling at $63.53 per barrel, the level unseen in almost two years.
Currently, traders are focused on the upcoming OPEC meeting that starts next week. A possible change in the organization's strategy will be on the agenda. The cartel will discuss a potential increase in production by 500,000 barrels per day. Under the circumstances of growing oil demand, such a rise in output is fairly acceptable. Therefore, it does not concern market participants.
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