Oil Market Trades Near Two-Month High on Mideast

The oil market near a two-month high is driven by a complex interplay of geopolitical tensions, environmental concerns, and strategic production controls.

How these factors evolve will determine the future trajectory of oil prices.

Escalation in the Middle East Fuels Oil Prices

Oil markets have surged to near two-month highs, breaking out of a recent trading range due to rising tensions in the Middle East and concerns over an active Atlantic hurricane season.

Brent crude has climbed close to $87 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has surpassed $83 per barrel.

The latest trigger for this price surge is the escalating conflict involving Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Recently, Israel’s military reported that 18 soldiers were injured in a drone attack by Hezbollah, with one soldier in serious condition.

This incident has increased fears of a broader conflict, potentially escalating into a full-scale war, which has a direct impact on oil prices due to the region’s significance in global oil supply.

Hurricane Season’s Impact on Oil Prices

Adding to the upward pressure on oil prices is the rapid onset of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Beryl has intensified to a Category 5 storm, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, making it the strongest storm to form in the Atlantic this early in the season.

Beryl made landfall on Carriacou Island in the Caribbean and is now heading towards Jamaica.

The hurricane season poses a significant threat to oil production and refining operations in the Gulf of Mexico, a crucial region for the US oil industry.

Disruptions caused by hurricanes can lead to significant supply constraints, which, combined with geopolitical tensions, create a perfect storm for rising oil prices.

OPEC+ Production Restraints and Increased Travel Demand

Oil prices are also being bolstered by OPEC+’s ongoing efforts to keep supply in check.

The group, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies like Russia, has been managing production levels to support prices. This strategy has helped oil prices cement gains from the previous month.

In addition, the northern hemisphere’s summer season typically sees an increase in travel, boosting demand for gasoline.

With the US Independence Day holiday approaching, traders are closely monitoring gasoline demand, which could further influence oil prices.

However, concerns about a sluggish economic recovery in China, the world’s largest crude importer, are expected to cap any significant price surges.

China’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been slower than anticipated, affecting its demand for oil.

Market Analysis and Future Projections

According to Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte, the recent breakout from the trading range and the establishment of a new higher high indicates a short-term upward trend for oil prices.

“This could lead buyers to aim for a retest of the April 2024 high at the key $90 level for Brent,” he noted.

The increased trading in crude futures has also heightened implied volatility, with a measure for Brent nearing its highest level in a month.

This indicates that investors are betting on further price increases, spurred by the current geopolitical and environmental factors.

Money managers have been returning to the oil market, investing in both crude oil and refined products like diesel.

The market is also experiencing a bullish backwardation structure in time spreads, where near-term contracts are priced higher than those for later dates. This typically signifies a strong demand outlook and limited supply.


The combination of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, an active hurricane season, and controlled production by OPEC+ are all contributing to the recent surge in oil prices.

While increased travel demand in the northern hemisphere’s summer season supports this trend, concerns over China’s economic recovery may temper further price increases.

The current market dynamics suggest that oil prices could continue to rise in the near term, with analysts and traders closely watching geopolitical developments and weather patterns.

As always, the oil market remains highly sensitive to a variety of factors, making it crucial for stakeholders to stay informed and agile.

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