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Dubai Crude Crosses $50 Mark

Posted April. 05, 2005 23:27,   


The spot price of Dubai crude oil, which takes up 80 percent of Korean oil imports, reached record levels two days in a row, crossing the $50 mark.

The hike is thought to have stemmed from concerns of a supply shortage with producing nations reaching surplus production limits, and from international investment bank Goldman Sachs’ report forecasting rapid oil price hikes.

According to the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) on April 5, Dubai crude closed at $50.51 per barrel on April 4, up $2.14 from the previous day on the market (April 1). Dubai had also reached an all time high on April 1 of $48.37 per barrel.

Brent crude oil also rose $1.57 to stand at $54.46 per barrel.

On March 31, Goldman Sachs released a report predicting that international oil prices could soar to as high as $105 per barrel due to imbalances in supply and demand.

However WTI prices closed at $56.81 dropping $0.76 from the previous day as OPEC remarked on a possible increase in production.

In its general meeting last month, OPEC decided to increase its daily supply by 500,000 barrels and implied that it could increase an additional 500,000 barrels if the WTI prices do not fall below $55 per barrel.

A KNOC official explained that “as it became known that the OPEC director-general began discussions with member countries on additional supply, the WTI prices decreased slightly. It seems the Dubai and Brent prices were not affected because of the time difference.”

The Korean government is reviewing a measure to extend the tariff cut on imported oil products, as the upward trend of international oil prices is not abating.

It is seeking to extend the measure by another six months, as the original tariff cut, decreasing the tariff on oil products temporarily by two percentage points, comes to an end at the end of this month.

Chang-Won Kim changkim@donga.com