Energy Prices Rise as US Temperatures Fall


Energy futures rose broadly Tuesday, as wide areas of the Midwest and eastern and southern United States got hit with record cold weather.

February crude rose 24 cents to $93.67 a barrel in New York. Heating oil was up 2.05 cents to $2.9593 a gallon.

The cold weather broke decades-old records. Many cities came to a virtual standstill, with flights cancelled and schools and businesses shuttered. Such weather helps drive up demand for heating oil.

Energy prices were also supported by continuing uncertainty about Libya’s crude exports. Nearly three years after the start of a civil war, strikes and protests in the oil industry and conflicts between the government and regional militias have kept the country’s output low.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3.26 cents to $2.6786 a gallon, and natural gas was down nearly a cent to $4.30 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In agricultural contracts, corn fell 1.75 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $4.26 a bushel. Soybeans fell 0.75 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $12.76 a bushel, and wheat fell 3.25 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $6.025 a bushel.

Despite the cold weather, orange juice concentrate futures edged down 0.25 cents to $1.4335 a pound. On Monday, officials from Florida’s citrus industry said they didn’t expect any damage to crops from the cold weather.

Gold for February delivery fell $8.40, or 0.7 percent, to $1,229.60 an ounce.

March silver fell 31.6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $19.787 an ounce.

Platinum for April delivery fell $1 to $1,415.40 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose $3.20, or 0.4 percent, to $741.70 an ounce. Copper for March delivery was unchanged at $3.3595 a pound.

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