Saudi crude exports fall to 6-month low as refineries cut back

Date:2016-06-20 10:34:12

RIYADH (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, cut shipments in April to the lowest level in six months as overseas refineries bought less due to seasonal maintenance and the kingdom burned more oil at home to power air conditioners.


Shipments dropped to 7.44 MMbopd from 7.54 MMbopd in March, and to the lowest since 7.36 MMbopd in October, according to data released Monday by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative in Riyadh. Exports also declined for Qatar, whose shipments slid to the lowest since at least 2002, as well as for fellow OPEC members Iraq and Kuwait, the data show.


Oil companies typically shut refineries for maintenance in April and May in preparation for higher summer demand. Saudi Arabia is planning to boost crude productionto 10.5 MMbpd in the next few months as higher summer temperatures boost demand for electricity needed to cool homes and offices, a person with knowledge of Saudi output policy said in April. The country’s output was 10.26 MMbopd in April after reaching a record 10.56 MMbopd in June 2015, according to Jodi.


“We have a refinery turnaround season going on,” Mohamed Ramady, a London-based independent analyst, said by phone. Also, “we had an uptick in local consumption of crude for power,” he said.


Qatar’s oil exports, which fell to 427,000 bpd in April from 506,000 bopd in March, were the lowest since JODI started compiling data in January 2002. Iraq’s shipments dropped to 3.36 MMbopd from 3.81 MMbopd in March, while Kuwait’s exports declined to 2.03 MMbopd in April from 2.2 MMbopd, the data show. Export data on the JODI website wasn’t updated for five of the 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries: Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Libya and Venezuela.

TypeInfo: Industry News

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