Report: OPEC oil exports fall, output quotas unlikely to change

OPEC oil exports averaged 22.34 million bpd during May, 850,000 bpd lower compared to April, according to an OPEC Oil Flow Forecast prepared by the Oil Research & Forecasts team at Thomson Reuters

The report notes that OPEC oil exports fell to 22.34 million bpd despite a strong push by Saudi Arabia, which increased exports to 7.72 million bpd ahead of the OPEC meeting on June 5. Exports from Iraq and Nigeria also increased during the period but were offset by reduced shipments from Iran and other OPEC members.  

The Oil Research & Forecasts team estimates OPEC production to have averaged 31.03 million bpd during May based on Thomson Reuters’ exports and analysis of refinery throughput and direct use.

Saudi Arabia’s crude production averaged 10.57 million bpd in May, 320,000 bpd higher compared to April to accommodate higher direct burn and domestic refinery demand, according to our estimates.

West African crude grades remain under pressure due to reduced buying appetite from China and India. Increased sales out of floating storage together with a supply glut in the Atlantic basin has resulted in greater loadings volatility for West African cargoes.

In Thomson Reuters’ view, output quotas are unlikely to change at OPEC’s June meeting though supply should continue to exceed official targets.

Thomson Reuters’ monthly OPEC Oil Flows Report reviews weekly export data and forecasts monthly, as well as cumulative, annual export volumes. Thomson Reuters combines its Oil Trade Flows data with its daily Tanker Cargo Volumes to assess OPEC oil export levels.

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