Crude oil prices and oil-related ETFs have surged this year, but the energy market may be entering a period of seasonal weakness.
Year-to-date, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, advanced 18.3% and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, increased 19.5%.
WTI crude oil futures are now trading around $69.8 per barrel and Brent crude futures hovering around $79.4 per barrel.
The supply disruptions experienced earlier in the year have helped push up prices, but crude oil has since started trading within range. However, analysts warned of falling demand as we shift over to a seasonally weak period for the energy market.
Energy demand typically surges in the summer months on increased travel, with a strong U.S. economic engine supporting the overall market. However, the fall months are typically a weak period for crude oil, which typically sees a dip in consumption and a subsequent fall in prices, the Wall Street Journal reported.