Crude Oil Falls to Four-Month Low In London on IEA Plans to Tap Reserves
Comment of the Day

June 23 2011

Commentary by David Fuller

Crude Oil Falls to Four-Month Low In London on IEA Plans to Tap Reserves

Here is a section from Bloomberg's report on this latest development in the energy market, which was also mentioned by Eoin in his Audio last night:
"The Brent premium was related to tightness in the international market, and the release quells those worries," said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York- based hedge fund that focuses on energy. "There will be additional supply available to make up for any potential shortfall in Europe."

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will provide 30 million barrels of the IEA release, European members will supply about 20 million and Asian nations the remainder.

The IEA has coordinated the use of emergency stockpiles three times since the agency was founded in 1974. The first was during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the second was after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Paris-based IEA is an energy policy adviser to 28 industrialized nations including the U.S., Japan and Germany.

"You now have a new factor in the market," said Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis. "In the past the strategic reserve was used to make up for a shortage, now it's being used as a pricing tool. This will add another level of complexity for analysts looking at the market."

David Fuller's view Reactions to this move yesterday appear to be along partisan lines.

I maintain that the world needs lower energy prices for economic reasons, so I approve. There is precedent for a release of oil from strategic reserves which I do not believe need to be kept on a war footing today. If this decision leads to further deleveraging in commodity markets, not least in crude oil trackers, it will reduce commodity price inflation. That would help to cushion GDP growth which has weakened, not least because of the year's earlier spike in oil prices.

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