It is obvious, that the accuracy of price predictions from the possible growth or decrease of world consumption is more than limited. The International Energy Outlooks mentioned above more or less succeed in the prediction of possible growth of consumption and in drawing up future prices from available data of the upcoming demand and production of oil. Even if the Energy Outlooks approximate future consumption exactly, the same Outlooks predict a price, which is far from being precise and practically realised.
This implies one very important thing: market mechanisms of pricing do not or almost do not work in the case of oil prices. This is a very serious problem in a situation when:
1. The market economy and market mechanisms of price regulations are considered to be the foundation of modern world economy
2. Oil remains a natural resource, which plays one of the most important roles in the functioning of world economy and modern society
One may call the modern economy transactional, post-industrial or capitalistic -which is a matter of methodology and ideology - but at the same time, everyone accepts that our modern economy's functioning is directly connected to energy resources and the most important of them: oil. This leads to a very frightening picture: the future price of this resource, which influences our lives and severely creates the environment of our existence, is not known.
It may be challenging to state here that the modern mechanism of oil pricing is mostly a stock-jobbing one. It is very important to understand why. Speculations in the world energy markets are not a new phenomenon and a speculative influence on pricing mechanisms has always been present and had many injuring results. However, speculations can hardly influence the pricing mechanisms if in one year the oil price rises by $ 40 or 50. The uneven pricing of oil must be considered a result of a more objective and more dangerous reality: the oil demand itself is stockjobbing. This means that the demand is out of market, predictions, growths and decreases. This stock-jobbing demand may be a result of two important realities of the modern international politics and economy:
• Absolute uncertainty about oil-producing regions. What will happen in Iraq? Will Washington attack Iran? Will Iran close the Hormuz Strait? Will Islamists take over power in Saudi Arabia? What will happen with Russian-American relations? Etcetera, etcetera.. .Transferring the current situation from the oil market, for example, to the wheat market: wheat is bought without having any clear information about the situation, for example, in Canada, which is one of the most important exporters of wheat in the world.
• The perception of oil resources exhaustibility became a reality. There is a clear perception that oil is an exhaustible resource. Transferring this situation again to the wheat market: it seems that the buying of wheat includes scientific and speculative information on future perpetual droughts in world's wheat fields.
This is what we call a stock-jobbing demand. It is hardly possible for the market to regulate this kind of demand. It is out of market. The market economy scheme -consumption decrease will bring about the decrease of demand and price - does not work and will not work here. This creates sound doubts, that national governments' steps to limit the consumption growth will not stop the rise of prices. This situation is a really great challenge, not only for the national or international economy, but also for social systems of the modern post-industrial part of the world.
The question may be posed here what is the best way to act in a situation when the price of an important natural resource is being formed not inside the market field? How should be acted, when the price of an important resource cannot be predicted? And one more important question: are national governments of developed and democratic countries around the world going to act pertaining the ideology, philosophy and methodology of the market economy, or should they regulate the prices with non-market instruments? These questions require adjusted answers, because these answers not only concern energy markets yet influence other spheres as well -governance, spatial planning and law.
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