North America

During the second quarter, the overall Crude oil market in the US contracted as compared to the first quarter, which was highly influenced by the volatile market sentiment and changing demand. During the first two weeks of April, Crude Oil Prices had increased by 3.38% due to induced market sentiments despite having announcement of production cuts by OPEC+ countries. As per the data, the Industrial Production Total Index in the US rose from 102.6 (March) to 103.1 (April) amid economic activities to improve. Afterward, a tight labor market and raised FD rate hampered the demand for Crude oil to remain low throughout the quarter, due to which overall prices decreased after witnessing multiple fluctuations. A significant drop of 11.3% was observed from April to June. The increasing concern over recession in the US has negatively impacted oil prices. A temporary rise in prices was observed in May due to the wildfire in Canada, followed by the rising inflation rate, and the US dept ceiling deal prompted the prices to be volatile.


During the second quarter, the overall crude oil trend remained volatile in the Chinese market. The sluggish economic growth of China and the US have impacted fluctuating Crude oil prices. As per the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, the value-added industry growth rate of China rose from 3.9% (March) to 5.6% (April). On a monthly basis, prices showcased an overall increment during April, despite having high inventories by OPEC+ countries. However, OPEC+ indicated a production cut in order to protect margins which hampered the price trend to be low during May in China. Additionally, slow economic growth with deepening concerns of recession in the US has affected the demand fundamentals of crude oil in China. Moreover, the demand in the Chinese market remained low due to the spread of covid infection amid dullness in market activity. China has announced an interest rate cut, an attempt to stimulate the economy and trading growth, which boosted demand for Crude oil in June.


During the second quarter, the overall Crude oil in the European market remained bearish compared to the previous quarter. The expected hike in interest rates during mid-April boosted the dollar index. A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for other currencies, affecting the prices to be temporarily inclined. Economic uncertainties and high inflation influenced the prices to continuously fluctuate and settle at USD 76.37 per tonne for Brent Crude oil at the end of May. Despite Russia invading Ukraine, Russia managed to sail its cargo more to the Asian market, affecting the May price trend. Moreover, investors sell their assets, such as commodities, out of fear of the banking crisis and global recession, contributing to oil prices' downfall. Additionally, the demand for crude oil remained low, which propelled the prices to fluctuate in a narrow range. However, market prices of Crude Oil have rebounded globally during June after an insurrection by Russian mercenaries. The growing geopolitical tension and political instability hampered the overall pricing trend of crude oil during H2 of June 2023.


During the second quarter, the overall price trend of crude oil fluctuated due to several announcements made by Saudi Arabia, one of the largest exporters of crude oil globally. The average Brent crude oil price in Saudi Arabia for the second quarter of 2023 was 73.6 USD per barrel. In April, Saudi Arabia announced to cut down crude oil production by 50000 barrels per day, followed by other OPEC+ members, including United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, and Oman, within the same time frame. Crude oil surges as Saudi Arabia extends voluntary cuts in production by another one million barrels per day effective from July to cover its importing bills and government spending. Effectively, the production of Saudi Arabia went down to around 9 mbpd in the quarter ending June compared with 10.5 mbpd in April. Meanwhile United Arab has increased its output, hampering the prices inclined. However, throughout the second quarter, the global economic recovery led to weaker demand for oil, which affected the prices to be volatile.

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