U.S. crude prices have fallen 9.7% since March, finishing the quarter down $8.13, the first quarterly price decrease since Q4 2008. This has triggered worries over the state of global demand in the wake of continued strain in global financial markets and sluggish job growth.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports growth in gasoline stocks and distillates inventories, disproving forecasts which predicted a fall. On the other hand, crude stocks dropped by 2.01 million barrels; twice the expected rate.
The onset of Hurricane Alex actually helped to stem the price fall by forcing a stop in 26.3% of oil production and 14.4% of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico region.