Economy

United States crude exports to China fall ahead of tariffs

United States crude exports to China fall ahead of tariffs

Brent crude, the global benchmark, shed 2.2 per cent to $72.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.70 per barrel at 0847 GMT, down 26 cents from their last settlement.

Prices had tumbled to a six-week.

Official data from Russian Federation on Thursday showed that the country's oil output rose by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July from June to 11.21 million bpd.

The EIA also reported US crude exports posted the biggest decline on record last week, while USA crude production fell for the first time since February.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has said that crude oil production has gone up in July as Saudi Arabia pumped more volumes into the global market.

But a complete halt to Iranian supplies looks unlikely with Bloomberg reporting on Friday that China, Iran's biggest customer, has rejected a US request to cut imports from the OPEC member.

Brent prices fell more than 6 percent in June and US crude slumped about 7 percent, the biggest monthly declines for both benchmarks since July 2016.

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Gasoline stocks declined 2.5 million barrels, while crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US crude futures fell by 1.3 million barrels, EIA data showed.

Furthermore, Weekly Distillate Stocks rose by 2.983 million barrels and Gasoline inventories dropped by 2.536 million barrels, coming in above prior surveys.

Oil prices strengthened Thursday, turning higher after traders saw an industry report suggesting USA crude stockpiles would soon begin to decline again after a surprise rise in the latest week.

China has said it plans to impose tariffs on liquefied natural gas, raising concerns that it could also impose tariffs on oil, said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital Management in NY.

China said it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In the statement on Wednesday, Novak said that higher production was due to the need to maintain the market's stability.

When OPEC met in June, it agreed it had been cutting supplies excessively and should restore output to 100 percent of a target set in late 2016. Under constant pressure from US President Donald J. Trump to cool prices, Opec and its allies are fulfilling a pledge made in June to increase output to ease concerns over potential supply disruptions in countries such as Iran and Venezuela.

Reacting to rising supplies, Saudi Aramco cut its September price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $0.70 a barrel versus August to a premium of $1.20 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, it said on Thursday.