Geopolitical tensions surge oil prices; Maldives to face impact

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, global oil prices skyrocketed to all-time highs since 2014.

The Brent Crude, which measures the international activity in Europe shot up by 4.5% with per-barrel prices surging to USD101.25.

The Russia-Ukraine tensions have heavily affected the global oil market along with the stock futures and currency exchange as well.

Meanwhile, a report from Kotak Institutional Equities read, “We expect crude oil prices to remain volatile and rise from current levels if geopolitical concerns do not materially ease.”

On the other hand, Moody’s Global Macro Outlook report stated that oil prices at current levels or higher will result in the increment of cost pressures for several economic industries while purchasing power of households will dwindle.

Currently, economic pundits and experts coincide that the Russia-Ukraine war will hurt the global recovery pace as well.

As such, the Maldives which is exclusively reliant on oil imports will be among several other countries to face the brunt.

The country’s premier and exclusive oil importer, State Trading Organization (STO) set oil prices based on its available rates in the global market and the price hikes in light of rising or plummeting demands.

The most recent revision to the oil prices was made on 13 February 2022, with STO declaring MVR13.04 per liter for diesel and MVR12.98 per liter for petrol.

Meanwhile, there is heavy speculation that the oil prices in the Maldives may rise even higher in the coming weeks if the geopolitical tensions continue to intensify.