Anyone remember that rapid succession of brent downgrades by Goldman last month which did nothing until the CME and the administration launched an all out war on speculators a relentless barage of crude margin hikes? Well, uber momo Goldman sure doesn't. Just out from David Greely: "While near-term downside risk remains as the oil market negotiates the slowdown in the pace of world economic growth, we believe that the market will continue to tighten to critical levels by 2012, pushing oil prices substantially higher to restrain demand. Events in the Middle East and North Africa are having a persistent impact, which leads us to increase our oil price targets We expect that the ongoing loss of Libyan production and disappointing non-OPEC production will continue to tighten the oil market to critically tight levels in early 2012, with rising industry cost pressures likely to be felt this year. We are now embedding in our forecasts that Libyan production losses will lead to the effective exhaustion of OPEC spare capacity by early 2012. Consequently, we are raising our Brent crude oil price forecast to $115/bbl, $120/bbl, and $130/bbl on a 3, 6, and 12 month horizon." Welcome back volatility. CME petroleum product margin reduction in 5...4...3...
As a reminder for those long ago days of April 12, 2011:
While prices are back at levels of spring 2008, supply-demand fundamentals are significantly less tight
The unfolding events in North Africa and the Middle East have pushed up Brent crude oil from $100/bbl in mid-February to over $125/bbl last Friday. These high prices levels invite comparison to the spring of 2008, when crude oil prices first breached these levels in May before peaking at over $145/bbl by early July. We believe that there are fundamental differences between now and the spring of 2008: Both inventories and spare capacity are much higher now and net speculative positions are four times as high as in June 2008.
And there you have it: so much has changed in the past 6 weeks. So much.