As the Mississippi River rises so do oil prices, since flooding threatens the U.S. gulf Coast refining hub.
The waters have not risen enough yet to halt operations in any refineries yet, but it is expected that within the next two weeks if the floods continue to raise water levels along the Mississippi, this will threat to disrupt plants in Louisiana, including the second largest U.S. refinery.
In addition to flood fears, there are still concerns of inventory declines, which have been recorded for eleven straight weeks now. And as the United States gears up for the peak summer holiday period, these added fears push up gasoline prices, and so gasoline futures led oil market gains today.
Meanwhile, strong trade data from China which indicated higher crude imports in April, helped buoy oil prices as well since the data contributed to easing fears about global growth.
China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, said April crude oil imports were the third highest on record.
U.S. crude oil opened Wednesday’s Asian session at $103.31, 17 pips higher than the US open level of $101.62. It is currently trading at $104.40, some 100 pips higher than last week’s record lows of 94.63.
Silver jumped sharply for the third day, opening the Asian session at 38.46 partially recovering after last week’s worst sell-off since 1980 where it reached as low as 33.02. Meanwhile, gold also gained as investors bought precious metals on inflation worries amid conflicting reports of a potential new aid deal for debt-laden Greece. Spot gold is currently trading the Asian session at $1519.53, up from last Friday’s low of $1462.23.