Petroleum futures fell in volatile trading Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange as members of OPEC met in a volatile session of their own in Geneva, Switzerland.
Open dissension among the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries prompted heavy selling early in the session, but prices recovered some of the losses late in the session when the oil ministers "appeared to get down to work," said Andrew Lebow, a petroleum analyst in New York with Shearson Lehman-American Express.
Crude oil settled 2 cents to 12 cents lower, with the contract for delivery in March at $25.23 a barrel. Heating oil settled 0.33 cent to 1.45 cents lower, with February at 72.06 cents a gallon.
Cattle and frozen pork belly prices posted a moderate rally on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in response to government reports on inventories.
Pork bellies displayed the most strength, as they advanced more than 1 cent a pound in some contracts.
A report from the Agriculture Department Friday disclosed 57.3 million pounds in storage as of Jan. 1, while the lowest estimate from analysts prior to the report was 59.1 million pounds.