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Focus on crude oil: Prices are likely to rise again after turbulence

Oil prices experienced some turbulence in late 2018: oil prices fell across the globe. A deterioration of the fundamental aspects and high volatility were the causes of this price drop. But how will the price of crude oil develop in the new year?

Almost no price changes at the gas pump despite falling crude oil prices

Crude oil prices for the WTI type have fallen by just under 30 percent over the last few months of 2018. At the gas pump or when filling their heating tanks, however, the Swiss will have noticed virtually no price change, or at least nothing of this magnitude. According to the Swiss Petroleum Association, unusually high transport costs are a particular obstacle to any decline in prices. For example, the cost of transporting oil via the Rhine has in some cases risen tenfold due to low water levels. Switzerland obtains 15 percent of its heating oil, 25 percent of its gasoline, and more than 60 percent of its diesel via waterway. 

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Return volatility of crude oil prices rose sharply in October 2018

Last data point: December 7, 2018

Source: Bloomberg, Credit Suisse/IDC

wti-crude-oil-futures-prices-fell-in-late-2018

WTI crude oil futures prices fell in late 2018

Last data point: December 7, 2018

Source: Bloomberg, Credit Suisse/IDC