� Platts US Marketscan reports that increasingly favourable
trans-Atlantic arbitrage economics is leading to summer grade cargoes of
fuel to US Atlantic Coast from Europe, Mediterranean and Asian sources.
This may provide positive supply conditions in North America and impact
market prices in the short term.
� US refinery utilization increased 1.1 percentage points above last
week's level to achieve capacity utilization of 82.0%.
� Crude prices continue to be influenced by political unrest in the
countries of northern Africa. Libya, the current centre of unrest,
is an oil producing country (1.6 million barrels per day, 17th largest
in the world) with markets in Europe. Their light sweet crude product is
highly valued by refineries due to processing efficiencies of light
sweet crude. During the current unrest, Libyan production is down to one
half a million barrels a day.
� Financial analysts have indicated that the crude futures market is
attracting a surge of speculative money. Speculative firms, who do not
take delivery of the product, have nearly twice as many long contracts
open now as they did in 2008 when oil spiked to $147. Holding long
contracts is an indication these firms are betting that crude futures
will increase before contract delivery is required.