There is never a dull moment in today’s oil market.
We had hardly got used to the notion that prices were marching ever higher, with the possibility of reaching $100 a barrel, than we learned that crude was on the slide.
Higher than expected US inventories were landed with some of the blame for this, along with the longer-term current concerns about slowing international growth.
The decline continued this morning, with Brent crude – a benchmark price used in many international contracts – losing 94 cents a barrel, or 1.13%, to $82.15.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was also lower, losing 79 cents a barrel, or 1.08%, to $72.38.
A very strong year
Look at the past month, however, and the picture is rather brighter. Brent crude was trading at $79.06 a barrel on 11 September and $83.09 on 10 October. Similarly, WTI changed hands at $69.25 on 11 September and at $73.17 on 10 October.
The longer-term rise has been more marked still. On 11 October 2017, Brent crude traded at $56.25, and by 10 October this year it stood at $83.09. That is an increase of more than 47%.