Global Oil Data Deck (June ‘23)
Global oil market balances eased slightly but remained in mild deficit in April, thanks in large part to staggeringly high apparent Chinese demand likely driven by strategic stock-building.
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Crude prices have been essentially flat over the past month, with prompt Brent contracts currently trading around $76/bbl; however, sentiment remains negative and over that month drawdowns have at times exceeded $4/bbl while rallies barely managed to gain $2/bbl above that $76/bbl level.
Global oil market balances loosened, just slightly, to a very mild deficit of 0.1 MMbpd in April, back from what had, in March, been the steepest monthly supply deficit since last June; the trailing quarterly average fell to a deficit of 0.5 MMbpd and, for the first time since last August, the smoothed measure is now recording lower supply than demand.
Global demand fell back seasonally across much of the world in April yet it maintained modest year-over-year growth; this pullback was materially softened by staggering growth in apparent Chinese demand—although this most likely reflected strategic stock-building much more than organic domestic consumption (much more on that below). Meanwhile, global supply pulled back very slightly on OPEC declines, which came ahead of larger cuts effective in May.