Monday, 12 January 2015

Crude speculators are still long

This is a very important, and quite stunning, chart for those looking to call the bottom in crude oil.

As I've mentioned in previous posts; alongside the extreme build in supply and declining demand, a real driver of this collapse in crude has been the rush-to-the-exit from speculators. The build in speculative positions, highlighted in black, has been huge, after a base in mid-2010 and has stretched beyond all historical averages.

Futures positioning always finds commercial positions (blue) at the right side of market turns and this time was no different. It's clear from the chart that commercial players handed their longs to speculators around the $100 level and the continued declines have led to a flood of loss-taking.

The worrying issue for anyone bullish on oil, is the realization that speculators are still long, and largely so, from a historical perspective. If we hold under $50 and continue lower in the medium-term then more of these longs will surrender. If we get a counter-trend bounce in oil and more bullish entrants, it will only increase the pain in the long run.

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