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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 14, 2006

US crude oil inventories drop


by Elaine Frei

New figures released by the Energy Information Administration in the United States show that crude oil stockpiles were down by 900,000 barrels in the week ending June 9, a larger decline than had been expected and a sign that imports were lower and that refineries were processing more crude into petroleum products. Despite the decline, inventories are still well above average and do not signal a shortage.

Gasoline stockpiles were up for the seventh week in a row, adding a more than expected 2.8 million barrels to gasoline in storage during the week. The EIA also reported that distillate demand - heating oil, primarily - was unchanged in the past month, while demand for gasoline was up 0.6 percent and jet fuel demand was up 4 percent over last year’s levels.

By late afternoon, Brent crude for July had dropped 54 cents by late afternoon, to $66.38 per barrel on the International Petroleum Exchange in London. With the July contract expiring at the end of the day Thursday, August contracts attracted more sales, and were down 25 cents to $68.04 per barrel. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery dropped just one cent in late morning trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, to $68.55 per barrel.

In the metals markets, prices trended higher in both precious and base metals. Gold added around $2 to trade at $564.60/$565.30 per troy ounce by late afternoon in London. Silver was up by 20 cents to $9.76/$9.86 per troy ounce, and platinum gained $26 to $1,142 per troy ounce on reports that output would not meet forecasts.

Copper was up $2 to $6,570 per tonne after having lost 9 percent of its value in the past two sessions. Aluminium gained $38 to $2,495 per tonne, while zinc held steady at $2,960 per tonne.

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