Why are the oil prices volatile in May?

Crude oil is one of the highly traded commodities, globally. Its prices are extremely sensitive to factors such as supply-and-demand balance, weather, and geopolitical events. The prices get influenced even with the tiniest news on a global event.

Last year, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, global oil prices saw a rare plunge in years.  Robust vaccination programs and ease in global lockdowns have PUSHED UP CRUDE OIL PRICES BY NEARLY 100% IN THE LAST 12-MONTH PERIOD. However, the prices have been volatile in May, primarily on account new coronavirus cases in Asia.

The weekly rise and fall in US crude oil inventories coupled with the US dollar strength also leads to fluctuations in crude oil prices. The crude oil inventories and the US dollar were dynamic during the entire month, increasing the volatility in crude oil prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent crude oil to hit US$80 per barrel in the near future. Recently, S&P Global Platts forecast oil prices to stay above US$70 per barrel by mid-2021.

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