Climbing Up

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

World oil prices hit fresh historic high points on Monday, climbing above 58 dollars a barrel in New York on tight supplies, as OPEC began consultations to consider raising output by 500,000 barrels per day. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for May delivery, struck a record intra-day high of 58.18 dollars in electronic trading amid worries over US refining capacity and the continued fallout from a study that indicated prices could hit 100 dollars, analysts said.

It later stood at 58.13 dollars, a rise of 86 cents on Friday’s closing price.

The price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in May hit 57 dollars for the first time, peaking at 57.65 dollars per barrel. It later stood at 57.62 dollars, up 1.11 dollars.

“Many market players, particular funds, believe prices will climb a lot higher before demand for oil drops,” Societe Generale analyst Frederic Lasserre said.

Oil prices have been underpinned in recent days by worries about a lack of US refining capacity and a Goldman Sachs study that forecast crude could top 100 dollars per barrel.

Despite the fact that the United States enjoys rising levels of crude stockpiles, there are fears that refineries will be una