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Oil prices plummet on record US crude exports

Oil prices witnessed fall during early trade on Thursday after US reported record crude exports, although market participants said that attempts by OPEC to trim output remained well supported.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at USD 49.90 per barrel at 0015 GMT, down 8 cents, or 0.16%, from their last close.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 5 cents, or 0.1%, at USD 55.75 a barrel.

The declines came after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said late on Wednesday that US crude oil exports jumped to 1.98 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, surpassing the 1.5 million bpd record set the previous week.

The increase has been triggered by the widespread between US WTI and International Brent crude prices which make US oil exports attractive.

Some traders said this was also an indicator that markets remained amply supplied despite efforts led by the OPEC and Russia to cut output to tighten the market and prop up prices.