Crude prices down in Asian trade

SINGAPORE- Oil prices eased in Asian trade Wednesday on expectations of another increase in US crude stockpiles which would suggest weak demand in the world’s biggest economy.

New York’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery dropped 88 cents to $100.40 in mid-morning trade, and Brent North Sea crude for June eased 35 cents to $108.63.

Analysts expect data due Wednesday to show US crude stockpiles rose by 2.2 million barrels last week, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

Tan Chee Tat, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, said an announcement by Libya that it will resume oil exports from the Zueitina port is also likely to push prices lower as there would be more supplies in the market.

“Libya is also a cause for downside after the announcement that their second port is ready to take on their first oil tanker,” Tan told AFP.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation is set to resume exports from Zueitina after declaring an end Tuesday to a force majeure imposed on the eastern port, which was blocked by rebels for nine months.