U.S. oil imports, exports down last week

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Average U.S. exports of crude oil rose by 966,000 bpd in the first half of 2019, compared to the first half of 2018.

Futures in NY were steady after closing down 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

USA crude inventories rose 3.1 million barrels last week, more than forecast. American private payrolls for September fell short of estimates, a day after a manufacturing gauge slumped to the lowest in a decade, spurring drops in financial markets.

The friction across the Atlantic could severely damage U.S. -EU economic relations, and hurt global economic growth and overall oil demand in major economies, analysts warned.

Even at a lower production growth pace, U.S. oil exports are expected to increase in the near future, because of reduced takeaway constraints from the Permian to the U.S. Gulf Coast, EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) for September.

"What's impossible to ignore are the economic realities being signaled in the latest run of economic data", said Stephen Innes, an Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader Ltd.

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"A reminder to the producers that competition for market share is getting tougher comes from preliminary data showing that in June the USA momentarily overtook Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation as the world's number one gross oil exporter", the IEA said.

Brent markets also fell initially during the trading session on Thursday, but then turned around to show signs of life. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.32 premium to WTI for the same month.

USA crude oil inventories rose 3.1 million barrels last week, more than forecast. That was more than the median estimate for a 2 million-barrel-gain in a Bloomberg survey.

During the session, both benchmarks tumbled to the lowest level seen since early August, plunging as weak US economic figures were released.

The August gain in United States payrolls was also revised lower, the ADP Research Institute said, suggesting a manufacturing recession. Meanwhile, the USA imposed tariffs on European goods including aircraft and dairy products this week.

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