Trader Vitol posts record $15 bln profit in 2022 on energy crisis -FT

News wire — Global commodities trader Vitol posted a record net profit of almost $15 billion in 2022, reaping the benefits of the energy crisis and leaving behind its competitors, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Last week, the energy trader disclosed an 80% jump on the year in its 2022 turnover at $505 billion, saying it delivered 7.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and products last year.

Its profits for 2022 matched its combined earnings for the previous six years, rewarded by large price swings in global energy markets in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the FT said.

The company told Reuters on Thursday it had no comment on the FT report.

Rival trader Mercuria logged a net profit of nearly $3 billion last year, while Trafigura made around $3.5 billion in the first quarter of its current financial year.

The windfall for Vitol was also boosted by earnings in power markets, power generation, refining and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading, the FT added.

The company last week said its traded LNG volumes rose to 17.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent, due to increased demand from Europe, with European destinations accounting for two-thirds of its LNG volumes in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Vitol’s crude oil volumes fell slightly to 199.5 million metric tonnes last year, down from 2021 owing to the company stepping away from more than 90% of the Russian oil business it previously did.

“Less than 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of our traded volume now is Russian business. Will that move up with some slightly stronger guidance? Yes, maybe,” Vitol CEO Russell Hardy told the FT Global Commodities Summit last week.

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For the rest of 2023, it expects oil demand to grow by 2 million bpd, driven primarily by the aviation sector globally and recovering demand in China, with the tightness in LNG to continue until 2026.

(Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy) – Reuters

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