Crude Oil Prices Extend Slide, Shed Over 1%

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At 1010 GMT, the October ICE Brent crude futures contract was down 10 cents from Thursday's settle at $73.45/b, while the NYMEX WTI September contract edged down 3 cents to $68.93/b.

US stockpiles have been in the spotlight because they rose unexpectedly last week, stoking fears that the market is becoming oversupplied.

Output by Saudi Arabia has also risen recently to around 11 million bpd, according to Reuters.

US crude oil exports averaged 1.31 million barrels per day last week, down by 1.37 million barrels per day from the previous week.

USA crude inventories rose 3.8 million barrels last week as imports jumped, the government's Energy Information Administration said.

The decision has helped to put a lid on a price rally, with crude futures falling more than 7 percent since climbing above $80 a barrel in May.

Escalating trade war could result in a notable drop in demand for crude oil.

There were some bullish elements in the report, notably gasoline stocks declining by 2.5 million barrels.

The cartel and its allies - known as OPEC+ - decided in June to increase production in response to consumers' concerns over rising prices and supply disruptions, so traders and investors have been watching Russia's oil data closely.

Russian Federation and key OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) members such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all increased production recently, trying to help compensate for a potential decline in Iranian crude supplies once planned US sanctions take effect later this year.

US crude oil refinery inputs averaged 17.48 million barrels per day during last week, which was 195,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week's average. That's equivalent to about 11.21 million barrels a day, a jump of 140,000 from a month earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations based on the ministry's data.

Smith noted while it's highly unlikely India will absorb China's share of USA crude, "we could see other East Asian destinations, such as Taiwan and South Korea, also picking up some of the slack".

Oil prices are also feeling the effects of tensions over global trade, which could cause economic growth to slow.

Despite the decline, China "continues to hold the mantle as the leading Asian destination for USA crude", said the firm's commodity research director, Matt Smith.

Trump has turned up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports and China has said it will retaliate. "This could severely dent the competitiveness of US oil and derivatives in the Chinese market", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy.

US crude oil imports averaged 7.75 million barrels per day last week, maintaining the levels of the previous week.

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