Oil Prices Are Falling, Do Speculators Get Credit?
The top chart above displays the daily CME July futures contract prices for light crude oil back to late January, and shows the price increase in February from $98 to $111 per barrel, and the subsequent decrease to below $97 in recent trading, including the 9% decrease just during the month of May, from $106.50 to $96.50 per barrel. The bottom chart displays the spot price of crude oil over the same period, which follows the exact same pattern as prices for crude oil futures contracts.
Question: Since oil speculators got the blame for rising prices in February, do they now get the credit for falling oil prices in May? How exactly does the "speculators cause high oil prices"crowd now explain the falling oil prices? Do speculators somehow contribute to only rising prices, but not to falling prices? Do speculators only trade when prices are rising, but somehow exit the market suddenly when prices are falling? To be fair to speculators, it seems like the popular press should be giving them credit now for the falling oil and gas prices.