14 March 2014, Lagos – The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut crude exports this month to the lowest level since November as refinery demand slows in Europe and North America, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.
OPEC, responsible for 40 per cent of global oil supplies, would decrease shipments by 1.1 million barrels a day, or 4.6 per cent, to 23.6 million a day in the four weeks to March 29, Oil Movements said in an e-mailed note.
The figures, according to Bloomberg exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador. Sailings were last this low in the four weeks to November 16, when an extended maintenance period caused a fall in refinery demand, according to the consultant.
“There is a spring low point for refinery demand sometime in April” in Europe and North America, Oil Movements founder, Roy Mason, said by phone from Halifax, England.
“Demand is going down and sailings respond to that.”
Global oil consumption typically ebbs at the end of the first quarter as demand for heating fuel tapers off and refiners start to perform routine overhauls.
Brent crude slipped 1.2 per cent this month, trading at $107.70 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday.
Middle Eastern exports will average 17.23 million barrels a day in the four weeks to March 29, compared with 18.23 million a day in the period to March 1, Oil Movements said. These figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.
Crude on board tankers will drop by 2.8 per cent to 482.21 million barrels in the four weeks to March 29, from 496.34 million in the previous period, data from Oil Movements show.
The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings and excludes crude held on vessels for storage.
OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The group will next meet on June 11 at its headquarters in Vienna.
OPEC had on Wednesday bolstered forecast for the amount of crude it will need to provide this year as the economic recovery stokes global fuel consumption. Iraq, its second-largest member, pumped the most oil since 1980.
“The global economy will see a gradual recovery in 2014, led by growth acceleration” in developed economies, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said in its monthly market report.
– This Day