The June WTI contract had tested $66 several times back in March. The rally that began in late April has moved the June contract into a band just below that resistance level, bouncing between $63 and $66. While the June contract is being held below $66, the back of the curve is doing better. Dec 2022 had been around $56 in mid-April but crossed over $60 this week.
Despite the strength in 2022 (and 2023), we think many clients should consider using some more options structures beginning in 2H2022 rather than relying only on swaps. For clients whose budgets depend on prices in the high $50s, swaps still are the wisest choice (we explain below).
There are some influential groups becoming more optimistic about demand growth. Meanwhile, they are also becoming more convinced that non-OPEC production will be limited in 2021-2022. The US is the largest potential grower in that group. This could easily create oil scarcity in 2022, with the possibility of scarcity arriving in 4Q2021. More detail available here (link)
We were hesitant to be bullish in 2022. Why now? OPEC production has been an imminent threat to the global S&D since even before the pandemic began. Further, the path of the demand recovery has been uncertain and disappointing. Still, there are concerns that India's demand will be slow to recover, and Europe has consistently lagged. Now that more time has passed, we can see a higher probability that demand growth could overwhelm OPEC's ability to add supply. Further, we see evidence among our clientele that the U.S. producer is not quite willing to invest in production growth. Perhaps WTI in the $70s would change that behavior.