Skip to content

The Pricing of Crude Oil

Reserve Bank of Australia, September 2012

Arguably no commodity is more important for the modern economy than oil. This
is true in terms of both production and financial market activity. Yet its
pricing is relatively complex. In part this reflects the fact that there are
actually more than 300 types of crude oil, the characteristics of which can vary
quite markedly. This article describes some of the key features of the oil
market and then discusses the pricing of oil, highlighting the important role of
the futures market. It also notes some related issues for the oil market.