Finance Markets

March 7, 2006

Commodities prices fall

Permalink: Commodities prices fall

Filed under: Commodities, Oil, Metals, Economy

Crude oil prices dropped again on Tuesday as expectations continued that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will decide to retain current levels of oil production when they meet in Vienna on Wednesday. OPEC’s current quota is 28 million barrels of oil per day, with actual production in February at 29.83 million barrels per day. Higher production from Iran and the United Arab Emirates more than made up for production cuts in Nigeria due to unrest there. OPEC’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, has called a decrease in the quota would not be productive.

The price decreases also came ahead of Wednesday’s weekly US production data. US crude oil stockpiles are currently 9 percent higher than last year’s inventory and analysts expect them to have risen by another 1.5 million barrels last week.

Brent crude for April delivery dropped $1.34 to $62.00 per barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange in London, while April contract West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost $1.02 to $61.40 per barrel after having lost $1.26 on Monday. Nymex unleaded gasoline was also down, dropping 7.1 cents to $1.5850 per gallon on top of a loss of 8.71 cents on Monday.

Metals prices were down as well on Tuesday. Gold lost $3.5 to $552.10/$553.00 per troy ounce.

Fears that rising interest rates could adversely affect demand growth, base metals prices fell significantly. Three-month copper lost $113 to $4,757.5 per ton on the London Metal Exchange. Aluminium was down 3.9 percent to $2,345.5 per tonne, zinc dropped 3.4 percent to $2,247.5 per tonne, and lead declined by 3 percent to $1,167.5 per tonne.

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