What Does the Convenience Yield Curve Tell Us about the Crude Oil Market?

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Using the prices of crude oil futures contracts, we construct the term structure of crude oil convenience yields out to one-year maturity. The crude oil convenience yield can be interpreted as the interest rate, denominated in barrels of oil, for borrowing a single barrel of oil, and it measures the value of storing crude oil over the borrowing period. We show that the convenience yield curve is well explained by a level and a slope factor. Consistent with the theory of storage, convenience yields have predictive power over future crude oil inventories, production, global real economic activity and the price of oil.

JEL Code(s): C, C5, C53, G, G1, G12, G13, Q, Q4, Q43

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