Dec 5, 2017 – Weekly Commodity: OPEC delivered extension now focus turning to US production & inventories
Commodities had a bad week caused primarily by correction in metals which couldn’t be compensated by slight bounce in Energy and Agriculture. The OPEC delivered extension of the production cut as the market expected, however as this was already priced in there wasn’t enough buying power to take prices to new highs.
As the huge rally from the end of summer was mainly based on the expectations that in Vienna the OPEC and the non-members lead by Russia will agree on the extension of the production cap, the news had limited impact last Thursday. The Friday move was likely just another reduction of short positions where some bears gave up. The biggest worries are now around the growing US oil production. While shale oil companies more and more seem to commit to growing shareholder value rather than market share, the US oil rig count and the US production is still on the rise. This can mean a hurdle in the efforts of OPEC and Russia to bring the market back to balance.
The speculative positioning is extremely skewed toward the long side (763,786 longs vs 153,953 shorts) and such a concentration always brings the risk of a volatile squeeze. The effect of the extension of the supply cut on the inventories could be delayed according to Saudi oil minister by a seasonal decline in demand during winter. US oil rig counts published by Baker Hughes however keep growing currently at the highest levels since September.
Technically we are in a strong resistance zone on WTI and after the OPEC deal was priced in well ahead, the market doesn’t seem to be strong enough to break much higher anytime soon. I expect the prices under the pressure of incoming bearish to drop back to previous supports before they would take off again.
Good Luck and remember to watch your risk and be consistent
Mr. Tech Man
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