Oil prices mixed as supply-induced uncertainties continue
Faster oil demand recovery, supply lagging behind demand, and energy crisis from supply chain disruptions push energy prices up
Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday over ongoing uncertainties amid the supply-induced energy crisis coupled with rising commodity prices, which analysts say may extend inflation increases.
International benchmark Brent traded at $83.73 a barrel at 1028 GMT for a 0.09% gain after ending the previous session at $83.65 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $80.48 per barrel at the same time for a 0.04% decrease after it ended the previous session at $80.52 a barrel.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, faster-than-expected crude oil demand recovery, supply lagging behind demand, and the energy crisis induced by supply chain disruptions continue to grip countries worldwide at a time when oil prices have reached the highest levels of recent years.
WTI crude briefly traded at $82.17 a barrel in the previous session, hitting the highest level since October 2014 when traded registered at $82.88 a barrel. Brent also saw the highest level since October 2018 at $84.59.
Soaring coal and gas prices, which make oil a more desirable alternative for power generation ahead of the winter heating season, are also driving up oil prices, prompting concerns that rising inflation will sustain longer than anticipated.
Analysts predict that a switch from natural gas to oil might result in an increase in crude oil consumption from 250,000 barrels per day to 750,000 barrels per day.
Meanwhile, China plans to ramp up coal production and has instructed some mines to increase capacity. The world's second-largest coal importer, India, is also facing difficulties with blackouts and power outages due to coal shortages.
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