Lower Emerging Market Demand Weighing on Prices

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On Friday, the USA crude oil fell, showing its biggest monthly loss in six months.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), last week, crude stocks dropped by around 300,000 barrels to 476.49 million barrels.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $65.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, down 95 cents from their last close.

The drops mean that crude oil futures are on track for their biggest monthly loss since last November.

The sudden decline in crude prices came as global oil demand is expected to remain weak this year due to trade tensions between the USA and China, the world's two largest oil consumers.

US crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.8 million barrels per day during the week ending May 24, 2019, which was 189,000 barrels per day more than the previous week's average. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.85 per barrel, down 74 cents from their last settlement. US benchmark WTI dropped 2.4% to $55.25, its cheapest price since early March. -China trade war. That dispute has prompted worries about a recession. US rig count data is due at 1:00 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), an indication of future production.

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Outside the United States, oil prices remain supported by output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers as well as falling supplies from Iran.

Many analysts also expect Opec-led supply cuts to be extended until the end of 2019 as the group wants to prevent oil prices from falling back to levels seen in late 2018 when Brent slumped to US$50 per barrel.

Due to United States sanctions, statistics show that Iranian oil exports fell to 400,000 barrels per day in May - nearly half the volumes of April.

Since OPEC and its allies started withholding supply in January, oil prices have risen by about 30 percent.

Adding to the gloom was disappointing manufacturing data in China, which raised concerns that Beijing's efforts to rejuvenate growth are faltering in the face of trade tensions with the U.S.

Washington will sanction any country which buys oil from Iran after the expiration of waivers on May 2, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said on Thursday.

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