Venezuela: Oil prices soar amid political instability in North Africa
March 10, 2011
In January, the average price of the Venezuelan mix of crude oils was USD 85.39 per barrel, which represented a 3.0% increase over the USD 82.89 per barrel recorded in December, and pushed the price to the highest level since September 2008. The rise in oil prices reflects strong demand as a result from an unusually cold winter in the northern hemisphere, as well as a more positive outlook for the global economy. Uncertainty about the global recovery has ebbed and growth prospects for the major economies have improved, in particular for the United States and Germany. Moreover, political instability in the Middle East and North Africa region has driven prices higher and could trigger further price increases if the civil unrest in Tunisia and Egypt spreads to other countries in the region.