United States crude oil refinery inputs decrease last week

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Crude has held on to its rally above $50 a barrel for over a week, rebounding more than 20 percent from a low on December 24.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported a draw of 0.56 million barrels in the USA crude oil inventories for the week ending January 11.

Still, Saal said, investors had already expected increasing USA production and priced it into the market, "so that's why prices are down a little bit and not down a lot".

OPEC and its allies made a decision to implement supply cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day late a year ago in an effort to boost the market, but with U.S. oil production reaching record highs and rising uncertainty over the global economic outlook, Ashton Whiteley analysts say the future of the oil market remains unclear. Parliament voted 432-202 against her deal, raising economic uncertainty that weighed on markets. Futures are up 1.9 percent this week.

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Futures were on track for a third straight week of gains, with Brent crude up $1.64 to $62.82 a barrel, or 2.7 per cent. The global benchmark crude was at an $8.79 premium to WTI for March.

In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said its oil output fell by 751,000 barrels per day (bpd), month on month, to 31.58 million bpd in December, due to cutbacks led by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has assured markets that OPEC and allies will do whatever to rebalance the market. His Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak, insisted his country is trying to speed up its agreed reduction, just days after Al-Falih said Moscow's curbs had "started slower than I like".

U.S. output has climbed by 2.4 million bpd since January 2018 and stockpiles of crude and refined products have risen sharply, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed.

Sentiment once again triumphed over fundamentals in the crude trading community on Friday, with reports that China plans to increases purchases of US goods over the next six year causing oil prices to reach a two month high. "Even if this goal is too ambitious the United States will go on applying strong pressures on buyers of Iranian oil in order for them to stop importing crude from Tehran", said Perrin. Venezuela risks a fresh plunge in oil output, Barclays analysts said in a note. Distillate fuel production decreased for the same period, averaging 5.4 million barrels per day. JXTG Holding Inc., Japan's biggest refiner, said its long-term survival is tied to an inevitability: the closing of more refineries.

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