The news that oil traded for $100 per barrel yesterday for the first time generated a boatload of news stories today, many of them mentioning that higher prices could mean plastics will get more expensive. (I won't start a whole debate on that topic in this post, although I welcome comments. We've had a variety of items in recent months about whether the link between oil and plastics pricing is real or spurious). The most interesting story I found, though, is one that pooh-poohs the $100-per-barrel trade itself. Apparently the transaction may have been a sham, according to this story in the London Daily Mail:
An independent trader 'seeking his moment of fame' caused oil prices to hit unprecendented levels of $100-a-barrel yesterday following a single deal. The buyer, who was trading on his own money bought 1,000 barrels of crude oil from a colleague, which is the minimum allowed. Strangely, he then sold then back almost immediately, making a loss of $600. The move left industry insiders questioning the reasons behind the deal.Let's call it the trade that launched a thousand "trend stories" around the globe. A word to the wise: don't cite this news story when you call your customers and tell them why you need to raise your prices.