Crude oil: super tankers are full

For the first time since January, crude oil inventories in the USA fell marginally. The price reaction was very positive. However, at least in the short term, we consider it excessive. Since some countries are moving into the post-lockdown phase, a recovery in demand in the second half of the year is plausible. However, the „pre-corona level“ remains a long way off. A more sustained stabilization of demand is not expected until 2021. Due to global supply cuts, the oil market will probably turn slightly into deficit in the second half of the year. However, this will at best be sufficient to minimally reduce the very high supply overhang in 2020.

However, anyone who is happy about the slight decline in US stocks of 750 thousand barrels is blind on at least one crude oil eye. After all, over 30 supertankers filled with Saudi oil will be landing on the US Gulf and West Coast in the coming weeks. This is a good 50 million barrels, which will soon fill US stocks again.

Global inventories also remain very high. There are currently 175 million barrels on the world’s oceans alone. This corresponds to about 6 percent of the total stocks within the OECD countries. It will be a long time before stocks return to a normal level. Until then, the ample supply situation will continue to argue for low oil prices. Only in the course of next year will the situation brighten up sustainably. We therefore expect the oil price to be about 25 percent above the current level in 12 months.

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