The Intermarket Task Force on Commodity Markets (ITF), which is chaired by the Chief Economist of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and composed of staff from the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Treasury, as well as the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, released an interim report on July 22, setting forth the preliminary results of its study of recent crude oil price increases. The interim report is based on the ITF’s analysis of public and non-public data, including the positions of commodity swap dealers and other traders, and concludes that fundamental supply and demand factors, rather than speculative trading in the crude oil markets, provide the primary explanation for recent price increases. The ITF will continue its analysis and plans to issue further findings later this year.

http://www.cftc.gov/newsroom/generalpressreleases/2008/pr5520-08.html

http://www.cftc.gov/stellent/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/itfinterimreportoncrudeoil0708.pdf