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Glencore’s Oil Trade Hasn’t Recovered Yet

Mining and trading group Glencore saw its traded oil volumes in 2021 at their lowest level since 2015, according to company data compiled by Reuters.

For the first time since 2015, the crude oil and oil product volumes which Glencore traded fell below 4 million barrels per day (bpd), at 3.86 million bpd, partly due to lower volumes lifted from Russia and to a strategic move to trade cleaner fuels.

To compare, in 2020, Glencore’s traded oil volumes were 4.2 million bpd.

Glencore had a five-year deal to lift oil from Russian oil giant Rosneft, but this agreement expired last year.

While oil trade was not the strongest division at Glencore last year, the Switzerland-based company reported robust 2021 financial results on Tuesday as all commodities rallied, and pledged to return $4 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

“In spite of the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, 2021 was an extraordinary year for Glencore, reflecting rising demand for our metals and energy products, record Adjusted EBITDA and the transition to new leadership,” chief executive officer Gary Nagle said on Tuesday.

Glencore booked a net income attributable to equity holders of $5 billion for 2021, compared to a loss of $1.9 billion for 2020, amid “multi-year or record high prices for many of our commodities” last year. 

The high income allowed Glencore to announce a total of $4 billion of shareholder returns, including a recommended $3.4 billion ($0.26 per share) dividend base distribution (in respect of 2021 cash flows), alongside a $550 million new share buyback program.

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Adjusted EBITDA contribution from Glencore’s Energy assets surged by 439% from 2020 to $5.6 billion in 2021, mainly due to the significant increase in average realized export thermal and coking coal prices year over year, and to a lesser extent, higher oil and gas prices, the company said. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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