World &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/10/04/37743.html ' target=_blank>crude oil prices soared as traders turned cautious amid cold temperatures in the US while bracing for the upcoming OPEC meeting and landmark Iraqi elections.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March jumped 1.22 dollars to 48.53 dollars a barrel in closing trade. In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in March gained 1.41 dollars to close at 45.73 dollars, wrote the Turkish Press.
According to the New Zealand Herald, customs data released on Friday showed China's crude imports hit a record 12.1 million tonnes in December, sending total 2004 imports to 122.7 million tonnes, a rise of almost 35 per cent from last year. China is now the world's second largest &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/08/30/35686.html ' target=_blank>energy consumer behind the United States.