OPEC's oil exports to US fell to five-year low in January

OPEC's oil exports to US fell to five-year low in January

They closed down 1.3 percent on Monday, after earlier touching their highest since November 21 at $55.75 a barrel.

Less foreign oil is reaching American shores, as OPEC production cuts kick in and US sanctions on Venezuela curb its exports. The benchmark earlier fell to a session low of $61.05.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $53.82 per barrel at 0036 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.35 percent, from their last settlement.

Crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended February 1 to 448.2 million, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

"Distillate demand increased sharply last week due to the extreme cold weather, which contributed to the declining distillate stocks", Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

But the focus on day to day market performance obscures the fact that overall, the crude industry continues to be remarkably robust compared to the dismal closing months of 2018, and even on that score production giants still achieved outstanding gains, the latest case in point being BP, which on Tuesday reported stronger-than-anticipated full-year profits of $12.7 billion in 2018.

Analysts said USA sanctions on Venezuela had focused market attention on tighter global supplies.

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The U.S. has struck the "right balance" to meet U.S. market needs and all options and "are on the table" going forward, Mnuchin told reporters outside the White House.

"While Venezuela's output reportedly rose last month, fresh United States sanctions on the country could see 0.5 to 1 percent of global supply curtailed", said Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a note on Monday.

The producers known as OPEC+ began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut and OPEC has delivered nearly three-quarters of its pledged cutback already, according to a Reuters survey.

Maduro, who retains control over the state, denounces Guaido as a USA puppet who is seeking to foment a coup against him. -China trade war, which has dragged on world markets as investors worry that the dispute could contribute to a potential global economic slowdown.

OPEC oil supply fell in January by the largest amount in two years despite sluggish production declines from Russian Federation, according to a Reuters survey. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal was possible with China. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.

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