OPEC weekly oil prices settle below 90 dollars at end of 2010

09:02, January 04, 2011      

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Although the weekly average prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued to increase at the last week of 2010, it maintained below 90 U.S. dollars, representing 89.89 dollars per barrel, the Vienna-based cartel said Monday.

OPEC weekly average price kept increasing for the fifth week last week, which also has hit a new record high for the consecutively fifth time since the first week of October 2008.

Since late November 2010, OPEC oil prices have begun a new round of rise in prices, but the upward trend changed last week. During the four trading days last week, its single-day price kept declining.

However, since OPEC oil price had a high level at the beginning of last week, its weekly average oil price still increased by 0.08 dollars compared to the previous week.

As the supply and demand relationship in the international crude oil market has no significant change, the profit-taking was the major factor causing a decline in international crude oil prices

In addition, a newly released inventory report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed the U.S. crude oil inventories fell less than the previous estimate.

Moreover, it is expected that the U.S. Northeast weather will be warming. All of these factors affected the international oil prices to some extent, causing some investors to sell stocks for profit at the end of 2010.

The figures showed that the international oil prices rose by 15 percent during 2010, with most gains achieved in the last two months of the year. It indicates that the global economic recovery is accelerating.

The OPEC monthly report of December 2010 also estimated that the global crude oil demand in 2011 as well as that for 2011 would increase.

The global economy continues to recover, especially those of the newly industrialized countries, which are becoming the new crude oil consumers. Their crude oil consumption growth gradually offsets the decline in oil demand of the traditional European and American countries.

An active international crude oil market caused by this phenomenon would support a further increase in international oil prices. It is forecast that in early 2011, the international oil prices would exceed 90 dollars per barrel.

Source:Xinhua
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