The current situation on the commodity market regarding oil prices is strongly influenced by fuel shortage concerns, especially petrol. It is a result of the failure of the largest refinery fuel tank system in the USA – which saw a number of filling stations shut down as a result of a cyber attack – with the greatest shortage of fuel affecting motorists with petrol engines. The disruption of fuel supplies has led to fuel prices reaching multi-annual highs. The market is now concerned about the likelihood of such an event recurring and the severity of future attacks and reacts with rising prices.
On 12 May 2021, at 9:44 am CET, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at US$ 65.82 per barrel, with a daily gain of +0.83%. According to technical analysis, since the beginning of 2021 the price of WTI crude oil has risen by +35.24% and in an annual comparison its price has risen by +102.84% over the past 52 weeks. According to economic reporters, on the one hand this rising trend in oil prices is largely due to higher demand as a result of the easing of the coronavirus pandemic, and on the other hand OPEC and OPEC+ reducing crude oil production.
The European counterpart of WTI, the North Sea oil Brent, also strengthened its price and on 12 May, at 9:55 am CET it was trading on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) commodity market at US$ 69.24 per barrel, with a daily appreciation of +1.01% of its previous price. According to the technical analysis, since the beginning of 2021 the price of Brent North Sea crude oil has increased its value by +34.6%. In an annual comparison, the value of North Sea Brent crude oil has also increased by +85.77% over the last 52 weeks.
According to two sources on 11 May 2021, U.S. oil inventories dropped by 2.5 million barrels in the last week, and according to the American Petroleum Institute gasoline inventories rose by 5.6 million barrels. After a cyber attack that shut down an oil pipeline, traders reserved at least four tankers to store refined petroleum products outside the Gulf Coast refinery. On Tuesday, 11 May, the OPEC oil cartel raised its forecast for demand for its oil production by 200,000 barrels per day and still maintains its predictions of a strong recovery in global oil demand this year, especially regarding the recovery and economic growth in China and the US. At the same time, fuel demand in India is declining significantly due to the development of the pandemic all over the country.