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Oil Open Interest Steadies After Start of Year Rise


Open interest in oil markets has stabilised or drifted back lower this month after a strong pick up during December and January.

  • After declining to historical lows in 2022, open interest increased for both crude oil and petroleum products at the start of 2023. The increase has been driven by the suggestion of increasing hedging activity with the potential for a recovery in demand later this year combined with a more stable market and decline in volatility.
  • A combination of higher oil prices, greater oil price volatility, a lower economic outlook, and higher interest rates caused market participation to drop in 2021 and 2022.
  • Nymex WTI aggregate open interest is down from a peak of 1.82m contracts back to 1.77m and ICE Brent open interest is at 2.13m from a high of 2.19m earlier this month.
  • ICE Gasoil open interest remains strong at 0.55m and the highest since Mar 2022 while Nymex RBOB has dipped from 0.34m to 0.31m.

Source: Bloomberg

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