Petroleum Futures Lower
Prices of petroleum futures were mostly lower Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange in response to reports of lower crude oil prices, but concern about near-term supplies of gasoline prompted buying that pulled prices off their lows.
Petroleum futures fell in early trading in response to a report that Pemex, the Mexican oil company, told its customers that the price of its lower-quality Maya crude would be lowered to $24 a barrel from $25.50, said Andrew Lebow, a petroleum analyst in New York with Shearson Lehman Bros.
In addition, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ahmed Zaki Yamani, was quoted as saying that, unless members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries comply with the cartel’s price and production limits, oil prices could drop below $20 a barrel.
After the initial decline, however, prices recovered slightly.
Ed Dellamonte, a petroleum analyst in New York with Prudential-Bache Securities, said prices were supported by concern that leaded gasoline supplies will be tight when new lead restrictions imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency take effect July 31.