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West Texas Intermediate oil fell for a third day as China's crude processing reached the lowest level in eight months in April and OPEC boosted output.
Prices dropped as much as 1.6 percent as refining in China decreased to 9.36 million barrels a day, according to data published today on the website of the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics. China's apparent oil demand, or domestic throughput plus net imports, was 9.66 million barrels a day last month, also the weakest since August, the statistics bureau data showed. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, the nation's biggest refiner, will cut processing by 1.5 million metric tons this quarter from an earlier plan because of higher fuel stockpiles, ICIS C1 Energy, a Shanghai-based commodity researcher, said last month.
Output in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose last month to the highest level in five months.
OPEC produced 30.46 million barrels a day in April, up from 30.18 million in March, the group's secretariat said May 10. That's the most since November. Saudi Arabia pumped 9.27 million barrels a day in April, up from 9.13 million in March. That's the highest since November and compares with the country's own figure of 9.31 million barrels, based on its communication with the 12-member group.
WTI for June delivery fell to $94.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices gained for a third week in the five days ended May 10.
Brent for June settlement lost $1.32, or 1.3 percent, to $102.59 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Volume was 6.4 percent below the 100-day average. Brent's premium to WTI narrowed to as little as $7.35, the lowest since January 2012.
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