Exactly two years ago, crude oil started its historic collapse of almost 75%, a decline that was never seen before in history.
Now that crude has stabilized, what is our crude oil price forecast for 2017?
Before looking into that question, it is always interesting to go back in time and look at former price forecasts from the experts. Let’s first revisit what the pros predicted in 2014:
- Business Insider published an article with bullish crude oil price forecasts
- A Marketwatch blog post referred to higher crude oil price forecasts
- Forbes predicted lower crude oil prices
- Another Forbes article forecasted a ceiling on crude oil prices
- CNBC lowered crude oil price forecasts
- Reuters also lowered forecasts for crude oil prices
We really got a mixed picture back then, so it was hard for investors to choose a direction based on these articles.
Now that is exactly the reason why we rely on charts. On any chart, supply and demand come together. Though fundamental analysis may be useful to get an understanding on dynamics within a market, charts are helpful in forecasting future price directions with a high degree of probability.
A Crude Oil Price Forecast For 2017
Examining crude oil’s chart is not easy, certainly not when trying to forecast its price. In general, the crude oil price is very volatile, and, hence, complex. In order to get an idea of future price direction, we have to identify chart patterns.
The patterns that are visible on crude’s chart are, in general, forming three areas:
- AREA 1: A trend channel in which crude oil prices were trading most of the time between 1985 and 2004. After 2004, crude prices only penetrated once in that area, i.e. end of last year / early this year.
- AREA 2: The chart clearly shows that area 2 has a transitionary character, as prices only get into that area for a short period of time once they rally or collapse. Prices have certainly never stabilized in that area.
- AREA 3: Between 2005 and 2014, prices have been most of the time in area 3, i.e. above the upper secular support line on the chart.
Our expectation is that crude oil prices in 2017 will not move up to area 1 and will not collapse into area 3. By exclusion, we predict that crude will trade mostly within area 2 throughout 2017.
The $35 to $40 range will act as strong support. Prices could certainly move higher, but will find secular resistance at $75 where the 2014 gap down started.
So, overall, investors could go long in 2017 once crude oil prices fall towards the $40 level and close positions (or go short) above $60.
Update on our crude oil price forecast
** Update in the first week of January **
It seems that we are at a decision point right now in the energy market. Crude oil is hitting $52, which, based on the next chart, is the lower boundary of a strong resistance area. In other words, IF the $52 level holds, crude oil prices will most likely pierce through resistance. In that scenario, there is upside potential to the $70 – $80 area, as a best case scenario. Specifically that scenario will be very bullish for energy stocks, so investors should watch very closely what crude oil does at $52.