Trafigura Posts Record Profit as Oil-Trading Business Booms

(Bloomberg) by Andy Hoffman – Trafigura Beheer BV said first-half profit surged to a record as the commodity trader reaped gains from oil-price volatility and by storing crude for future delivery. Net income rose 39 percent to $654 million in the six months to March 31, the Amsterdam-based company said in a statement on Monday. While lower crude has hurt producers, Trafigura and other trading houses are profiting from arbitrage opportunities created by price swings and the chance to lock in profits by storing cheap oil today for delivery at higher prices in the future, a market structure known as contango. Trafigura, the world’s third-largest independent oil trader after Vitol and Glencore Plc, said its gross trading margin more than doubled to 3.1 percent during the period. The upheaval in commodity markets, which saw oil slump to a six-year low in January, has offered Trafigura “exceptional opportunities,” co-founder and Executive Chairman Claude Dauphin said in the statement. Now handling about 3 million barrels a day, the company said gross profit at its oil and petroleum products division soared 77 percent to $1.01 billion. Oil accounted for 65 percent of the trader’s revenue, which slipped 24 percent to $48.2 billion due … continue reading

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