Milder weather, lower Mexican oil prices and supply concerns caused petroleum futures prices to slip in the year-ending session Tuesday on the Mercantile Exchange in New York, traders said. Volume was light in a session chopped to a half-day because of New Year's Eve.
Peter Beutel, an analyst in New York with Rudolf Wolff Futures, said the market was under pressure from Mexico's move to cut its oil prices. Traders were waiting for the American Petroleum Institute report and Beutel said expectations were varied on what to expect from the institute's latest inventory check. An easing of bitter cold conditions in the United States also affected the market, traders said.
"The warmer weather is hurting heating oil," Beutel said.
Coffee futures prices continued sharply higher on the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange in New York.
At the end of the two-hour, holiday-shortened session, the contract for delivery in March was 950 points higher and other contracts were up the limit, 600 points.
Drought damage to Brazil's crop continued to be a predominant underlying factor in supporting futures trading, analysts said.