Crude oil futures prices for delivery until 2016 have surged above $100 a barrel as investors bet that oil costs will remain high in the long term even if they weaken in the short because the impact of the US economic slowdown.
Every futures contract until December 2016 finished last week above $100 a barrel for the first time after a strong rally in long-dated futures prices. The Nymex December 2016 future settled on Friday at $103.59 a barrel.
The surge in long-dated prices comes as the International Energy Agency, the western countries’ oil watchdog, meets financial, trading, producing, refining and economic experts today to discuss the roots of the current price rise.
The meeting signals policymakers’ growing concerns about the rise in the oil price from about $50 a barrel in early 2007 to a record high of $111 last week.
Those concerns will be re- inforced by the recent surge in forward prices, analysts said. Long-dated oil futures have outperformed spot prices during the past six months. The five-year forward price has risen 45.3 per cent since September, while the spot price has risen by 38.1 per cent.
法国巴黎银行(BNP Paribas)的Harry Tchilinguirian表示，最近的油价变动反映了市场人气的变化。“长期合约价格体现的是新增石油供给成本，它们目前仍在高位震荡，继续反映出市场人气中根深蒂固的对供给问题的担忧——不只是今年，而且包括以后。”
Harry Tchilinguirian of BNP Paribas said the recent move reflected a shift in sentiment. “Long-dated prices, a proxy for the cost of new oil supply, are still high and volatile and continue to reflect the ingrained supply-side concerns in market sentiment – not just for this year, but beyond,” he said.
分析师称，人们担忧的内容还包括不断上升的通货膨胀率、石油生产国税率的提高，以及外界无从“问津”沙特、科威特、委内瑞拉和墨西哥等国国有石油公司控制的石油储量。 Among those concerns, analysts said, is rising inflation, increases in taxation in producing countries and a lack of access to reserves controlled by national oil companies in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Venezuela and Mexico.