Oil prices hit highest level in nearly a decade

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Oil prices continued to rise on Wednesday reaching levels not seen for nearly a decade.

U.S. WTI rose to as high as $111.50, the highest since 2013, while North Sea Brent crude hit $113.02, the highest since 2014. Both fell back a little during the session but prices were still up some 5%.

Natural gas and aluminium also hit all-time highs propelled by the conflict in Ukraine prompting fears of disruption to energy and commodities supplies.

Russia is the world's second largest exporter of crude oil and accounts for more than 40% of the EU's annual natural gas imports.

Following Ukraine's invasion by Russian forces the European Union and the US have imposed tough sanctions on Moscow which could lead to the disruption of supplies.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict occurs at a time when prices of energy and commodities were increasing following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in many countries.

In 2021, Russia was the world's third-largest aluminium producer after China and India, according to data from the World Bureau of Metal Statistics.

Russia's main exports markets are Turkey, Japan, China, the United States and the European Union.

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