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Crude oil prices have been exceptionally volatile over the past month and futures backwardation remains at historically high levels.
Global oil balances loosened substantially in the first quarter of 2022 on slowing demand but the market was likely pushed into at least mild undersupply once again in April as Russian supply began sliding in earnest.
Global visible petroleum inventories are now definitively below their 2010-2014 average, with crude inventories taking the biggest hit followed by middle distillate refined products like diesel and jet fuel.
Supply fell off significantly in April as Russia saw production decimated and OPEC+ saw the largest aggregate underproduction vs. the group’s quota since the production deal began.
Oil demand data from March showed a marked easing of global demand through early 2022, with China’s draconian COVID lockdown measures expected to further weigh on global consumption into April.