US crude oil production has rallied by more than 10.00% since the middle of last year to 9.293 million barrels per day. That’s just 500,000-600,000 below the current output of top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia. However, the big story weighing on energy prices is recent demand growth statistics from key consumer China, with both imports and exports from the country slowing in recent months. Investor focus will be on American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report on US crude stockpile estimates for last week. The market is forecasting crude supplies to have fallen by 1.800 million barrels, while gasoline stocks are projected to drop by 875,000 barrels. While the short-term trend remains bearish, a drop below $48.50 a barrel will likely accentuate the selling pressure especially if OPEC and non-OPEC producers fail to arrive a production cut extension deal.