Column: Traders abandon bullish oil positions as recession looms | Jobi Cool

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Portfolio traders had been huge sellers of oil for a fourth straight week as the sleek implementation of Russia’s worth cap introduced weak point within the financial system and oil demand into sharper focus.

Hedge funds and different cash managers offered the equal of 30 million barrels within the six fundamental oil-related futures and choices contracts in the course of the seven days ending Dec. 6.

The fund’s gross sales have totaled 221 million barrels over the previous 4 weeks, in accordance with place data printed by ICE Futures Europe and the US Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee.

The overall place has been lower to simply 358 million barrels (twelfth percentile for all weeks since 2013), down from 579 million barrels (forty seventh percentile) on November 8.

Crude oil positions have already been hit exhausting, limiting alternatives for additional gross sales, however the liquidation unfold to subtle merchandise, particularly center distillates, that are the principle industrial and transportation fuels.

Fund managers offered NYMEX and ICE WTI (-5 million barrels), Brent (-4 million), US gasoline (-5 million), US diesel (-11 million) and European LPG (-5 million).

Chartbook: CFTC-ICE Obligations for Merchants

In consequence, the web Brent place fell to simply 95 million barrels (fifth percentile), the bottom because the first and second waves of the coronavirus epidemic in 2020.

However that weak point is now spilling over into center distillates, till lately the strongest a part of the market because of the low stage of inventories.

The web place in US diesel and European gasoline oil was lower to 49 million barrels (forty first percentile) from 75 million barrels (62nd percentile) on November 8.

Bullish longs outnumbered bearish shorts by a ratio of two.92:1 (52nd percentile), down from 5.40:1 (81st percentile) 4 weeks earlier.

U.S. distillate gasoline oil inventories stay beneath the pre-pandemic seasonal common, however the deficit has narrowed sharply over the previous eight weeks, taking a lot of the warmth out of the market.

Sluggish manufacturing development, rising rates of interest, battle between Russia and Ukraine, sanctions and chronic inflation have created a poisonous cocktail for oil consumption and distillates.

The extraordinarily low stage of hedge fund positions in crude oil has created upside worth danger if and when managers attempt to rebuild bullish positions.

However till a few of the adverse elements weighing on consumption are resolved, many managers are more likely to stay cautious about re-entering the market.

Associated Columns:

– US diesel inventories start to normalize as financial system slows (Reuters, Dec 9)

– Oil costs fall as menace of falling worth ceiling reveals worsening demand (Reuters, December 8)

– Traders dump Brent in anticipation of relaxed oil worth cap (Reuters, December 5)

– Crude hit by heavy fund promoting as cap fears ease (Reuters, Nov 29)

John Kemp is a market analyst from Reuters. The views are his personal

Writing by John Kemp; Enhancing by Susan Fenton

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

Opinions expressed are these of the writer. They don’t mirror the views of Reuters Information, which is certain by the fiduciary ideas of integrity, independence and freedom from bias.

John Kemp

Thomson Reuters

John Kemp is a senior market analyst specializing in oil and vitality programs. Earlier than becoming a member of Reuters in 2008, he was a buying and selling analyst at Sempra Commodities, now a part of JPMorgan, and an financial analyst at Oxford Analytica. His pursuits embody all features of vitality expertise, historical past, diplomacy, derivatives markets, danger administration, politics and transitions.

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