Skip to content
Opinion
Javier Blas

Sorry, But for You, Oil Trades at $250 a Barrel

The culprit is the refinery margin and the consequences are huge for global inflation.

Wait. What?

Wait. What?

Photographer: Grace Cary/Moment RF

If you are the owner of an oil refinery, then crude is trading happily just a little above $110 a barrel — expensive, but not extortionate. If you aren’t an oil baron, I have bad news: it's as if oil is trading somewhere between $150 and $275 a barrel.

The oil market is projecting a false sense of stability when it comes to energy inflation. Instead, the real economy is suffering a much stronger price shock than it appears, because fuel prices are rising much faster than crude, and that matters for monetary policy.