Supply & Demand
The United States is the world’s largest oil consumer using more than 20% of the entire world’s oil supply. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, otherwise known as OPEC, produces and controls 60% of the world’s oil exports. OPEC’s mission is to coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and to ensure the stabilization of oil markets.
The organization strives to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry. When supply is high but demand is low, prices decrease in order to move supply. When demand is high but supply is low, fuel prices increase.
Oil traders look at world oil demand, particularly from the United States and China. In the U.S., estimates are provided monthly by the Energy Information Administration- https://www.eia.gov. For gasoline, demand rises during the summer driving season and decreases during the winter. To predict demand, forecasts for travel from AAA are used to determine potential gasoline use in the summer, whereas weather forecasts are used in the winter for products such as heating oil and propane.