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Oil prices rise over Suez Canal shipping disruption

Oil prices made a concerted comeback on Wednesday, March 24 after almost completely paring the losses sustained during the recent downturn. Brent rose 5.9% to $63.9/bbl on the day, while WTI soared 6.02% to $60.75/bbl.

Global media outlets reported that the cargo ship Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal, choking off oil supplies from the Middle East to Europe; at the moment, the problem remains unresolved as the stranded vessel has yet to be refloated or pulled by tugboats into the harbor, thereby delaying tanker oil shipments through the Suez Canal. This news caused oil prices to spike, although the EIA weekly inventory report released on Wednesday evening snuffed out the gains as crude oil stockpiles showed a build of 1.92 mln bbl, whereas the market had expected a drawdown of 272k bbl.

Despite the bullish news from the Suez Canal, oil prices are once again in decline on Thursday morning, with Brent down 1.3% and WTI off 1.5%. Our forecast range for Brent today is $63-64/bbl.

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