Global Commodity Trade Industry Sees Record-breaking Profits Surpassing $100 Billion

Global Commodity Trade Industry Profits Surpassing $100 Billion
Published on: Mar 18, 2024

The global commodity trade industry, comprising sectors such as oil, natural gas, electricity, metals and mining, as well as agriculture and food, has experienced a remarkable milestone as profits breached the $100 billion mark, as estimated by consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Despite a slight decline compared to the record-breaking figures of 2022, the industry has managed to maintain an upward trajectory and achieve its second-best annual performance in history.

Notably, while volatility in crude oil, particularly linked to Russia, has subsided, challenges in the supply of diesel and fuel oil have offset this effect. Simultaneously, trading profits in natural gas and electricity have also remained at relatively high levels. Companies engaged in the purchase, storage, and transportation of global resources are accumulating substantial cash reserves during what is being hailed as the most profitable period in history. This is aimed at solidifying their positions as strategic suppliers of energy, metals, and food, particularly in the context of a gradual shift towards green energy in the West.

These companies have successively acquired refineries, storage facilities, power plants, and even other trading firms, with substantial support from countries such as Italy, Germany, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, to ensure the supply of fundamental commodities like natural gas and copper. Experts note that traditionally, these responsibilities for energy security were not shouldered by independent trading businesses, but they are increasingly assuming this role.

“High profits” have become synonymous with the global oil and gas industry over the past two years. Saudi Aramco recently announced its 2023 financial report, revealing the second-highest net profit in the company’s history. Prior to this, titans in the oil and gas sector, including ExxonMobil and British Petroleum, have also disclosed financial reports showing annual corporate earnings at relatively high levels, and TotalEnergies has even set new records for its peak profits.

It is noteworthy that these companies are enabling top executives who own shares or are partners to become multi-millionaires through stock buybacks and dividend payments. This is expected to accelerate the elevation of these high-ranking executives into the next generation of leaders. Overall, although profits in the global commodity trade industry have experienced a minor decline, the industry continues to maintain a robust state.

Copper Mining Natural Gas Oil & Gas