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BP, Shell help lift profitability of oil trading to 6-year high

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The trading arms of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc had their best year ever in 2015, helping push the combined gross margins of oil merchants to a six-year high, according to a closely watched report.

Oil traders last year “stormed ahead, thanks to low, volatile spot prices that created cash-and-carry opportunities,” consultancy Oliver Wyman said in its annual review of the commodities-trading industry published Wednesday.

These oil traders’ gross margins rose to a combined $19 billion (£15.61 billion), the highest since 2009, when traders thrived off of big price swings and oversupplied markets. For commodities traders in general, total gross margins stagnated at $44 billion (£36.15 billion) for the second consecutive year as natural gas, power and other markets underperformed oil.

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Paul

The author Paul