Friday, November 23, 2018

Oil Prices Down Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 11/23/2018 11:37:00 AM

From CNBC: Oil plunges 7% to lowest level in more than a year

Oil prices slumped on Friday to their lowest levels in more than a year, deepening a rapid seven-week sell-off that has plunged crude futures deep into a bear market.

International benchmark Brent crude dropped $3.52, or 5.6 percent, to $59.08 at 10:20 a.m. ET. The contract hit $58.92, its lowest level since Oct. 27, 2017, earlier in the session.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell $3.59, or 6.6 percent, to $51.04. WTI briefly slid about 7 percent to $50.60, its weakest price since Oct. 12, 2017.
Oil PricesClick on graph for larger image

The first graph shows WTI and Brent spot oil prices from the EIA. (Prices today added).

According to Bloomberg, WTI is at $50.92 per barrel today, and Brent is at $58.77.

Prices collapsed in 2008 due to the financial crisis, and then increased as the economy recovered.   Oil prices collapsed again in 2014 and 2015, mostly due to oversupply.

Last year oil prices rose sharply again.

Oil Prices The second graph shows the year-over-year change in WTI based on data from the EIA.

Six times since 1987, oil prices have increased 100% or more YoY.  And several times prices have almost fallen in half YoY.   Oil prices are volatile!

Currently WTI is down 10% year-over-year.

Although the U.S. is still a net importer of oil, oil production has increased significantly in the U.S..  Declining oil prices negatively impact certain regions and segments (like heavy truck sales).