Oil prices could soon hit $150/bbl and go higher this year, with demand destruction likely by the end of the year, the CEO of global commodities trader Trafigura said on June 7.

Brent oil futures hit their highest level since 2008 at nearly $140/bbl in early March after major oil producer Russia invaded Ukraine. More recently, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China is expected to boost demand and lift oil prices from current levels of around $120.

Jeremy Weir also told the FT Global Boardroom conference that the company’s Russian business was effectively finished, apart from a small amount of refined products moving to Europe, owing to Western sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

“[Russia] represented roughly 6% of the overall business we did, so it has dropped by that amount...it’s quite significant,” Weir said.

The EU has been widening financial rules on Russian oil sales since the start of the invasion. Trafigura previously said it had reduced its Russian oil business substantially by a May 15 deadline from which cargoes could be sold only to cover Europe's energy security needs.

Last week the EU agreed to stop buying seaborne Russian crude oil, representing about two thirds of its imports, from early December.