US crude imports from Gulf Opec countries were at an almost 2-year high of 1.824mn b/d in May (see chart 1 and p11 for full data), some 450,000 b/d higher than the first quarter last year when volumes dropped to their lowest level since 1988.

Gulf Opec imports were boosted by increased volumes from Iraq in May. Iraq supplied the US with 506,000 b/d of crude according to weekly data from the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the highest amount since August 2014. Iraq exported a record-equaling 3.36mn b/d of Basra Light crude in April with not just the US, but also India (see p6) taking bumper volumes. (CONTINUED - 592 WORDS)