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

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

by Jonathan Adams

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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