5 of the World’s Biggest Oil Traders

When it comes the commodity market, oil is the most commonly traded asset around the world. This is largely because it presents traders with great opportunities to profit, if they can proficiently manipulate the market’s volatility and take advantage of price fluctuations. The landscape of the commodity market is largely influenced by external events that affect the supply and demand of assets like oil. 

The world’s largest traders of oil also have a significant impact upon the markets and its value, since these companies are involved in the supply of the lucrative liquid. In this article we will list some of the world’s biggest oil traders, to give you an insight into some of the companies that have the power to shift the markets. 

1. Vitol

Vitol is a Dutch company that was founded in 1966 and heralds as the world’s largest independent oil trading firm. Vitol engages in the extraction, transport and refinery of energy, but specialise in trade, trading over seven million barrels of crude oil and various other products per day. 

Vitol trades in over 100 different grades of crude oil, throughout the world, and are closely connected to some of the most influential producers and refiners of crude. Their position as leaders in oil trading has been acquired by having a role in the various stages of the oil supply chain.

2. Trafigura 

The world’s second-largest independent oil trader is Trafigura. The company is broken up into three branches: 

  • Oil and petroleum products
  • Shipping and chartering 
  • Metals and mining

Since the company has a direct role in the supply chain, they have a responsibility to help control the supply and demand of oil — a factor that directly impacts the value of the commodity in the financial market. Taking this factor into account, you can take part in crude oil trading using an online trading platform, and can speculate on some of the world’s most actively traded commodities, like crude oil. 

3. Glencore

Oil makes up just one of the strings in Glencore’s bow since it is involved in the production, refinement, storage, financing, sourcing, processing, and supply of many energy products, as well as metals, minerals, and agricultural assets. 

The company has secured its place as one of the world’s largest trading firms, extending its influence when it purchased Xstrata (a mining company) in 2013. 

4. Gunvor

Gunvor controls some of the world’s largest oil storage facilities, pipelines, refineries, and terminals, in addition to having a role in petroleum and mining works. Based on its turnover, Gunvor is one of the world’s largest independent commodities traders and sources crude oil, along with other refined oil products, for over 100 countries worldwide. 

The company boasts an impressive international influence, having over 1,600 employees, who are based in more than 20 different countries. 

5. Mercuria

Mercuria takes part in the trade, sourcing, and supplying of crude oil, as well as products made from refined petroleum. 

Founded in 2004, the company began trading solely in oil, before branching out to incorporate all energy products, enabling the firm to grow and achieve a revenue of $116 billion in 2019. Mercuria now trades worldwide across more than 50 different countries and has a strong influence in the energy sector. 


As previously mentioned, these huge oil traders can have a significant impact on the supply and demand of oil. When the supply and demand of a commodity are out of balance, this can increase the volatility of the market and cause prices to fluctuate. 

With short-term price fluctuations can come attractive opportunities to make profits on your investment, however, your capital is at risk, so it’s important to understand the factors that can cause prices to change. 

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