Crude Oil Close To 2010 Highs

Despite a perceived overall slightly bearish tone to today's USDA stocks and planting intentions report, the grains sector might derive some support from outside markets this afternoon.

Crude oil is currently close to it's 2010 high of USD83.95/barrel, with front month May having traded as high as USD83.76/barrel today.

Today's rise came after US employment data showed an unexpected drop in private sector jobs, raising hopes of a demand boost.

All eyes this afternoon will now be on stocks data from the US Energy Dept. Although they are expected to show a rise in crude inventories of around 2.5 million barrels, gasoline supplies are likely to have fallen by around 2 million barrels, with distillates stocks also seen declining.

The American Petroleum Institute yesterday said that crude inventories rose by 421,000 barrels last week. A similar smaller than expected rise from the DOE could see crude prices test the January highs.