Market developments have again brought political risk to the fore
Wholesale oil prices have started the new year in upbeat mood after coming sharply off the boil in the fourth quarter (4Q) of 2021. The market had come under serious pressure towards the end of the year, slumping to around USD 65 per-barrel in mid-December, weighed down by a number of factors. The widely-traded US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) grade fell from a 2021 peak of around USD 83 per-barrel in October, to just above USD 65 per-barrel in mid-November. A recovery materialised in late December, and the market is now showing an even more bullish attitude in early January, with WTI prices moving back up towards the USD 80 per-barrel mark.