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Oil prices fall on rising US crude stocks, Opec's output bump

Crude prices have fallen by more than 10% since late May, pulled down by a supply glut

Reuters  |  Singapore 

Oil prices down on rising US crude stocks, Opec's output bump

fell on Wednesday after data showed a build in US crude stocks and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) reported a rise in its production despite its pledge to cut back on output.

futures were at $48.41 per barrel at 06:52 GMT, down 31 cents, or 0.6 per cent, from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.10 per barrel, down 36 cents, or 0.8 per cent.

have fallen by more than 10 per cent since late May, pulled down by a that persists despite a move led by to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Opec's own compliance with the cuts has been questioned, and the producer group said in a report this week that its output rose by 336,000 bpd in May to 32.14 million bpd.

ANZ bank said in a note to clients that prices were "under pressure earlier in the day after a report from showed that its production had increased."

Adding to the supply surplus is rising US production from shale drillers that has pushed US output up by 10 per cent over the last year to 9.3 million bpd, not far below levels by top exporter Saudi Arabia.

"The outlook for oil hinges on the effectiveness of the cuts relative to the supply increases from US shale," said William O'Loughlin, an analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that US crude stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to June 9 to 511.4 million, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

With supplies plentiful, strong demand is needed to support the market, but there are signs of a slowdown.

Global energy demand grew by 1 per cent in 2016, a rate similar to the previous two years but well below the 10-year average of 1.8 per cent, BP said in its benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy on Tuesday.

More specifically for oil, there are signs of a slowdown in China, long the key component of fuel demand growth, as its economy slows. The nation's refiners have produced too much fuel for it to consume, forcing a drop-off in activity.

"Chinese demand is slow ... so we have a build-up of crude in Asia where demand seems to have slowed for now," said Oystein Berentsen, managing director for oil trading company Strong Petroleum.