Oil climbed to $113.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since futures began trading in 1983. Mexico, the U.S.'s third-largest crude supplier, shut its fourth export terminal yesterday, while Eni SpA halted output in Nigeria. China said today diesel imports surged 49 percent in March.
Crude oil for May traded at $113.40 a barrel, up $1.64, at 1:15 p.m. in London. Prices have gained 78 percent in a year and yesterday rose $1.62 to settle at $111.76, the highest close.
Record oil prices are crimping profits at airlines, boosting food costs and contributing to rising inflation across the globe.
Petroleos Mexicanos, the third-largest supplier of crude to the U.S., shut its crude oil export terminal on the Pacific coast yesterday, the fourth terminal to close because of bad weather since April 13.
The terminal at the port of Salina Cruz closed today, Mexico's Merchant Marine reported in a weather bulletin posted on its Web site. The three Gulf of Mexico terminals at the ports of Pajaritos, Dos Bocas and Cayo Arcas remain shut.
Oil has risen 39 percent and the dollar has dropped 12 percent against the euro since the Federal Reserve began lowering interest rates Sept. 18. The euro traded at $1.5836 versus the dollar as of 1:13 p.m. in London from $1.5832 late in New York yesterday.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries today said a decline in global demand for oil during the second quarter could be more ``pronounced,'' should the U.S. economy continue its slide into recession.
In its monthly report, OPEC left its forecast for 2008 oil demand steady at 86.97 million barrels a day, a 1.2 million barrel- a-day gain over 2007.