Related News

Home » Business » Energy

Oil prices fall on poor demand

OIL prices hit two-month lows yesterday as government data showed that energy demand continues to slump.

Benchmark crude for January delivery gave up US$1.95 to settle at US$70.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices dropped as low as US$70.13 a barrel earlier in the day.

The Energy Information Administration said the U.S. consumption of petroleum products fell to its lowest level since the week of July 10. Demand for gasoline in the U.S. has been hit so hard by the economic downturn, imports are falling away and helping to drive up the amount of unused fuel in storage.

Imports over the past four weeks are down 1.4 million barrels a day compared with last year. That is significant because a gallon of gas was well below US$2 per gallon at this time last year, meaning little incentive to ship gas to the U.S.

As a result, more than 7 million barrels of gasoline have been pumped into U.S. stockpiles in the past three weeks, according to the EIA report.

"We're expecting consumption to return with the (economic) rebound, but so far we're not seeing it," said Andrew Lebow, senior vice president and broker at MF Global.

The EIA report also showed U.S. crude supplies dropped last week, though that is typical toward the end of the year as refineries cut down on their inventories.

In other Nymex trading in January contracts, heating oil lost 8.16 cents to settle at US$1.9093 a gallon while gasoline lost 6.73 cents to settle at US$1.8573 a gallon. Natural gas gave up 21.6 cents to settle at US$4.898 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude for January delivery fell US$2.80 to settle at US$72.39 on the ICE Futures exchange.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend