On March 17, 2017, the CFTC (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission) released its weekly Commitments of Traders report. It showed that hedge funds decreased their net long positions in US WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil contracts by 86,784 contracts to 288,774 contracts in the week ending March 14, 2017—compared to the previous week.
Hedge funds’ net long positions hit 413,637 contracts in the week ending February 21, 2017—the highest level ever. Hedge funds reduced their net long positions for the third straight week due to:
- rise in US crude oil rigs to an 18-month high
- near-record US crude oil inventories
- rise in US crude oil production to February 2016 high
Crude oil price forecasts
REYL Bank expects that crude oil prices could trade between $50 and $60 per barrel in 2017. The EIA estimates that US WTI and Brent crude oil prices will average $53.5 per barrel and $54.6 per barrel, respectively, in 2017. It also estimates that US WTI and Brent crude oil prices will average $56.2 per barrel and $57.2 per barrel, respectively, in 2018. US WTI and Brent crude oil prices averaged $43.3 per barrel and $43.7 per barrel in 2016, respectively.
Read What Can Investors Expect in the Crude Oil Market in 2017 and Is the US Delaying the Crude Oil Market’s Rebalance? for more on crude oil prices.
Read Will Crude Oil Prices Test 3 Digits Again? for more information on crude oil price forecasts.
For energy-related analysis, visit Market Realist’s Energy and Power page.