The run of weak short-term oil market data has continued.

That’s what Standard Chartered analysts stated in a report sent to Rigzone on February 21, adding that the company’s U.S. oil data bull-bear index “has now registered 19 weeks without bullish data” and that “the past four weeks have been particularly poor”.

“According to the bull-bear index, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data represented a slight week on week improvement, with the index rising 10.3 to -74.5, but it remained in the ultra-bearish category representing the weakest five percent of all data releases in the past 10 years,” the analysts said in the report.

“The current run of two highly bearish and two ultra-bearish readings matches the worst four-week run during the pandemic. Total inventories rose by 23.8 million barrels week on week against the five-year average, taking them 16.1 million barrels above the average; this is the first time in 22 months that inventories have been in a surplus to the five-year average,” the analysts added.

In the report, the analysts highlighted that the U.S. oil inventory deficit peaked in the first week of June 2022 at 151.7 million barrels.

“The build of 167.7 million barrels since represents an average daily build of 922,000 barrels per day,” the analysts said in the report.

“We have previously suggested that the continuation of poor data is a reflection of a significant global surplus. According to our global balance model, six of the past seven months have seen a global oil surplus (not including strategic stock releases), with the imbalance peaking at 2.71 million barrels per day in October,” the analysts added.

The Standard Chartered analysts went on to note in the report that they forecast “a more balanced market for the next three months, so the steady wash of surplus into the U.S. inventory system should soon slow”.

“Meanwhile, the only significant remaining strategic release before 2028 is the 26 million barrels due to be released during Q2,” the analysts added.

Short Term Bullish Confidence Decreasing

In a separate report sent to Rigzone on Wednesday, Macquarie Bank Limited outlined that short term bullish confidence was decreasing.

“We originally believed the tight Brent market could keep crude prices supported despite global builds through April or May, but recent supply side data is concerning,” Macquarie Bank Limited stated in the report.

“That said, we are not ready to pivot to our medium-term bearish view because we do not believe the full bullish effects of the Chinese reopening are in physical flows yet,” the company added.

In its report, Macquarie Bank Limited said “it appears that Chinese buying of USGC crude is growing to approximately 700,000 barrels per day in March versus a January/February average of 70,000 barrels per day”.

In another report sent to Rigzone this week, J.P. Morgan revealed that it had kept its oil price forecast unchanged at $90 per barrel.

“At this juncture, we opt to keep our price forecast unchanged at $90 per barrel and maintain our view that absent any major geopolitical events, it would be difficult for oil prices to breach $100 this year,” the company stated in the report.

“While we see Brent scaling up from $85 in 1Q23 to $89 in 2Q and exiting the year at $94, it should be a slow grind, tempering price volatility,” the company added.