Crude prices fall as US to release supplies from reserves 

NEW DELHI: Crude oil fell in Asian trade on Friday after US President Joe Biden announced that 1 million barrels of oil were released per day for six months from May to control soaring prices in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

At 1030, Brent’s May contract on the intercontinental exchange was $ 104.42, down 0.28% from its previous close. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) May contract on the NYMEX fell below $ 100 a barrel to $ 99.71 a barrel, down 0.57%.

However, analysts said the price drop would be limited because the planned US release is not sufficient to compensate for Russian deliveries.

According to the International Energy Agency, Russia is the largest exporter of oil to global markets and the second largest crude oil exporter after Saudi Arabia. In December 2021, it exported 7.8 million barrels per day.

Oil prices had been on the rise even before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as demand recovered with the easing of the pandemic and supplies struggled to keep up. But Western sanctions against the Kremlin after its invasion of Ukraine had pushed Brent, the global benchmark, to as high as $ 139.13 a barrel, the highest since 2008.

Prices have since fallen largely due to demand for a new increase in covid-19 cases in China and mobility restrictions in major cities.

At home, the oil market companies kept petrol and diesel prices unchanged. Fuel prices have risen in total 6.40 per liter since March 22 in the capital.

Gasoline in Delhi is now sold for 101.81 liters, while diesel is sold for 93.07. The increase in retail prices is expected to continue, given the significant gap between domestic and global prices.

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