Crude Oil Prices Extend Slide, Shed Over 1%

Crude Oil Prices Extend Slide, Shed Over 1%

Crude Oil Prices Extend Slide, Shed Over 1%

A worker holds a nozzle to pump petrol into a vehicle at a fuel station in Mumbai, India, May 21, 2018.

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery fell to as low as $66.92 per barrel and traded at $67.35 on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:57am local time. US Crude oil exports have fallen right off the table from last week's 2.7 million barrels per day to only 1.3 million barrels per day while clocking the slowest reading since April. Worldwide monetary leaders have indicated a full-blown trade war would have an overall negative impact on the global economy, raising the prices of many consumer goods. Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield to a renewed USA campaign to strangle Iran's vital oil exports. OPEC has responded with boosting supply, but we are yet to see how much Iranian supply would be choked off, Croft said, adding that "it's going to be very significant". China's Unipec, the trading arm of state oil major Sinopec, has suspended crude oil imports from the United States due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing, three sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

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

There were also factors holding oil markets in check.

Oil prices rose on Thursday, recouping a portion of the losses of the last two days that were driven by reports showing surprise gains in USA inventories of crude, along with mounting concern over trade friction between the US and China.

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The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap surged 7.3 percent to $46.3 billion.

Crude fell to the lowest in more than five weeks as a surprise rise in USA crude inventories and increases in production from OPEC and Russian Federation has investors anxious that global supply levels are on the upswing.

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. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.1 percent to $68.89 per barrel. But there were concerns about potential stockpile builds as supply returns from a Canadian production facility that has been shuttered.

Further production cap increases from OPEC remain a possibility moving forward as prices continue to stabilize.

Crude oil prices started the trading day Thursday in negative territory, but quickly shifted into rally mode on signs that US crude oil stocks at the key storage hub in Cushing, Okla., were drying up.

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