Oil prices too high, oversupply severe: Trafigura

SINGAPORE Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:44am EST

A worker adjusts a valve of a gas pipe in Al-Nassiriya gas field, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, June 18, 2009. REUTERS/Atef Hassan

A worker adjusts a valve of a gas pipe in Al-Nassiriya gas field, 300 km (185 miles) southeast of Baghdad, June 18, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Atef Hassan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - European oil trader Trafigura Beheer BV said on Thursday the worst of the credit crisis was over, but cautioned that the oil market was still grappling with severe oversupply and current prices were too high.

"As far as we can see, liquidity is back, and there's a lot of appetite from existing banks and new banks. As they reposition their portfolios, commodities continue to feature quite highly on their agenda," Trafigura's Chief Financial Officer Pierre Lorinet told Reuters in an interview.

But he warned that given the ballooning stockpiles of oil products stored on ships, the current crude price of $80 a barrel was not justified.

"The level today seems too high compared to the pure fundamentals. But it goes back to how oil is trading today, and oil is trading like a financial asset."

The severe oversupply would keep the market's contango structure in place "for a while," he added.

(Reporting by Jennifer Tan; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

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