Despite OPEC+ deal collapse, Saudi oil exports yet to rise

24 March, 2020
Source: Reuters

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has yet to boost crude shipments significantly, two industry sources who track the flows said, suggesting a lack of demand despite a deep slide in prices as major producers battle for market share. 

The kingdom plans to ship more than 10 million barrels per day (bpd) from May following the collapse of a supply-cut pact by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers led by Russia, known as OPEC+. 

So far, exports in March are running significantly below that rate, the sources said, showing little change from February. This could reflect lower demand from customers, such as China following the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Saudi March exports are so far in the 7.3 million bpd region, not more,” one of the sources said on condition of anonymity. “Total supply is way below 10 million bpd.” 

Another source who tracks the exports said Saudi shipments in February would be about 7.2 million bpd. Tanker data from Refintiv Eikon put the exports even lower, at just below 7 million bpd so far in March. 

Saudi oil exports averaged 7.26 million bpd in February, according to Kpler, a supply tracking firm, which told Reuters that as of March 23, the 10-day moving average was 6.8 million bpd. 

One of the two industry sources put the February crude shipments at 7.4 million bpd, while the second estimated them at 7.3 million bpd.

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