LONDON: US oil futures rose to US$47.04 a barrel after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) said it was raising its forecast for global oil demand for 2004 and 2005, and on jitters over supplies from Iraq and Russia, ahead of US inventory data.
In the morning trade yesterday, the US September-dated futures contracts were up 29 US cents to a new record of US$47.04 a barrel in pre-market deals.
The front-month Brent October futures contract rose 21 US cents at US$43.20.
“Opec’s data are in line with the International Energy Agency’s numbers. It’s not new information, but the news caused US prices to jump to a new high, mostly on jitters,” Informa Global Markets analyst Peter Luxton said.
Opec, in its August monthly report released yesterday, said its demand forecasts had been raised to 81.18 million barrels per day (bpd) for 2004 and to 82.24 million for 2005 following “stronger-than-expected consumption in the first quarter and continued strength in the world economy”.
The report said Opec crude oil production for July was estimated at 29.57 million bpd, 600,000 above the revised June figure.
Concerns over supplies from key producers Iraq and Russia also helped to underpin prices ahead of the release of US inventory data, dealers said.
“Reports that Moqtada Sadr’s followers will blow up an Iraqi pipeline if US troops continue to battle Sadr’s forces” in Najaf hit sentiment, Prudential Bache broker Christopher Bellew said.
Fears over oil supplies from Russia’s oil major Yukos, and the expectation of draw-downs in US inventories yesterday also lent support to the market, ED&F Man Brokerage’s Graham Flint said. – AFX-Asia
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