Oil prices edge down on US crude stocks build

On Wednesday, crude prices sagged because an unexpected build in American crude stocks weighed on markets, along with worries that Chinese crude demand could falter because China clamps down on alleged tax evasion in the crude industry.

International Brent crude futures were worth $49.57 per barrel, tumbling 0.8% from their last close. American West Texas Intermediate crude futures descended 1%, trading at $47.64 per barrel.

Decent Chinese crude demand growth has been mostly spurred by independent refiners or simply teapots, who started importing crude last June right after getting government crude import quotas as well as licenses.

However, Beijing's recent crackdown on alleged tax evasion in the crude industry, targeting the teapots, definitely threatens to put a lid on Chinese demand.

Financial analysts are eager to learn whether the teapots are going to start cutting runs or not.

Reinforcing worries regarding market oversupply, American crude stocks surprisingly grew last week, even though gasoline inventories dipped steeply and distillate stocks rose, as data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute revealed on Tuesday.

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