Crude Oil’s Next Move? Clues from Soybean Oil

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As we observed in our past research , soybean oil prices often lead the movement in crude oil prices.  The past year has been no exception.  Even as WTI crude prices soared from $42 to $66 per barrel between June 22, 2017, and January 25, 2018, soybean oil traders weren’t buying in.  Soybean oil prices peaked on November 9, 2017, at 35.38 U.S. cents per pound and began a 10% sell off that started two and a half months before the recent peak in crude oil prices (Figure 1).  This is the eleventh such episode of soybean oil prices leading crude oil prices since 2005.

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