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Sinopec Says It Lost $688 Million on ‘Misjudged’ Oil Prices

  • Loss on ‘misjudgement’ of prices and ‘inappropriate’ hedging
  • Brent oil prices plunged in final months of 2018 to near $50
China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) Chairman Wang Yupu Attends Earnings News Conference

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Updated on

China’s largest oil refiner said its trading unit lost almost $700 million last year after being wrong-footed by zigzagging markets, revealing one of the biggest losses by a commodity trader in the last decade.

Sinopec blamed the losses at its Unipec unit in part on “inappropriate hedging techniques” and said it closed its positions after discovering the problem. Oil plunged sharply in late November and December, prompting traders to speculate that Unipec may have contributed to the price drop as it unwound positions.