Crude slips in Asia as US coast closes down

Oil prices fell in Asia on Monday as US refineries cut crude production in anticipation of a plunge in energy demand ahead of the Hurricane Sandy megastorm, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December shed 32 cents to USD 85.96 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 51 cents to USD 109.04. A projected fall in energy demand in the world’s largest oil consumer as threat of Hurricane Sandy forced the US refineries to slash production and traders to evacuate the market.

“Oil has fallen and the market is reacting to Hurricane Sandy which is affecting the US east coast,” said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. After claiming 66 lives in the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy forced a lockdown in the US eastern seaboard as 10 states declared states of emergency, including the capital Washington.

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