Determinants of the crude oil futures curve: Inventory, consumption and volatility
Christina Nikitopoulos-Sklibosios (),
Susan Thorp () and
Danny Yeung ()
Journal of Banking & Finance, 2017, vol. 84, issue C, 53-67
Since 2008, the WTI oil futures curve has been positively sloped for extended periods. We test whether changes in inventory alone can explain this atypically long contango. To do this, we estimate monthly VARs of the CME WTI oil futures spread and OECD and U.S. inventory in line with standard theory, and add petroleum consumption and implied volatility to the vector of endogenous variables. When we model the futures spread as one continuous series, results confirm two-way causation between inventory and the futures curve, as predicted by the theory of storage. However when we separate negative and positive futures spreads we find that: two-way causation between the futures spread and U.S. inventory breaks down; shocks to OECD petroleum consumption cause more negative spreads and shocks to U.S. consumption cause more positive spreads in addition to inventory-driven changes; and increases in volatility directly raise positive spreads. These new causal channels have become significant since 2008 and can be related to higher inventory, inelastic supply of oil and uncertainty about global economic conditions.
Keywords: Oil futures curve; Inventory; Consumption; Implied volatility; VAR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q40 C58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:53-67
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Banking & Finance is currently edited by Ike Mathur
More articles in Journal of Banking & Finance from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().