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Korea’s Benchmark Import Dubai Nearing $150

Posted July. 07, 2008 09:01,   


The price of Dubai crude, Korea’s benchmark fuel import, is nearing 150 U.S. dollars a barrel.

Korea National Oil Corp. said yesterday that the spot price of Dubai crude Friday closed at 140.70 dollars per barrel, up 39 cents from Thursday.

The price is inching towards 150 dollars a barrel, a figure that is the government baseline for starting its first phase of energy crisis management. The price prompted an earlier-than-scheduled announcement of the management program.

The expected increase in Chinese demand Thursday pushed up the price a day later, the corporation said.

The price of Brent crude oil futures on the London-based ICE Futures Exchange decreased to 144.42 dollars per barrel, down 1.66 dollars, due to signs of thawing tension in the Middle East.

There was no floor trading Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange, where West Texas intermediate is traded, because of the Independence Day holiday.

The price of liquefied petroleum gas for vehicles in Korea has increased 16.5 percent in three months, following a steep increase in gas and diesel prices.

LPG used to fuel vehicles in the first week of this month (June 30 to July 4) reached a record high 1,067.24 won a liter nationwide.

Butane gas for vehicles had shown a downward trend earlier this year, going from 952 won per liter in February and 925.05 won in March to 916.19 won in April. This reversed in May, when the price went up to 946.26 won a liter.

In June, it increased to 1,025.02 won a liter, surpassing the 1,000 won mark for the first time. The upward trend has continued this month.

The price of propane gas for heating and cooking has also increased 20.9 percent over the past three months, from 1,195.99 won per kilogram in April to 1,445.82 won last week.