Commodities : Petroleum Futures Rally

From Associated Press

Petroleum futures prices rallied Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange as concern about tightening supplies and low production encouraged buying.

Nauman Barakat, a petroleum analyst in New York with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., said concern that supplies are lower than year-earlier levels led to the buying.

He noted that production of petroleum products, including gasoline and heating oil, has been low recently, with refineries operating at less than 75% of capacity.

Further, he said, imports of products from Europe has been lower than expected.

The tight supplies were expected to be confirmed in the weekly statistics that were to be released late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute.

Wheat and soybean futures prices were lower and corn was mixed in very quiet trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat was staggered by the Agriculture Department's report on weekly export inspections, which disclosed that during the week ended Thursday only 11.3 million bushels of wheat was inspected for export, the lowest total since May, 1981.

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