Release Number 5520-08

Release: 5520-08
For Release: July 22, 2008

Interagency Task Force on Commodity Markets Releases Interim Report on Crude Oil

Washington, DC – Today, the Interagency Task Force on Commodity Markets (Task Force or ITF), chaired by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), released a staff report offering a preliminary assessment of fundamental and market factors affecting the crude oil market. The ITF’s Interim Report on Crude Oil studied fundamental supply and demand factors and the roles of various market participants, and it found that fundamental supply and demand factors provide the best explanation for the recent crude oil price increases.

The CFTC formed the Task Force in June 2008 to evaluate developments in commodity markets, in particular investor practices and fundamental supply and demand factors. The Task Force is composed of staff members from the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Given the importance and timeliness of their research efforts in the crude oil market, the ITF is issuing an interim staff report limited to the crude oil market.

“The recent upward surge in the price of crude oil has significantly affected American consumers and businesses,” said CFTC Chief Economist Jeffrey Harris, who chairs the Task Force. “This staff report reflects the collective knowledge of some of our government’s best economists. Each of the participating agencies brings unique expertise to the Task Force, and this Interim Report, for the first time, attempts to compile the government’s best available information and analysis into one report. We hope that it will serve as a useful resource concerning the crude oil market and will contribute to the public discussion of important energy market issues.”

The ITF continues to evaluate conditions in the commodity markets and will report further on its work later this year. The CFTC expresses appreciation to the participating agencies for their efforts in connection with the Interim Report and for their continued work on these issues.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: July 22, 2008