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Saudi Arabia’s crude exports fell to a six-month low in April despite output remaining near record levels. The Riyadh-based Joint Organisations Data Initiative’s (Jodi) latest data shows that exports fell 97,000 b/d, despite production edging up 18,000 b/d – MEES estimates put production falling by 20,000 b/d (MEES, 10 June).
The key driver of the lower exports was a seasonal rise in direct crude burn, which hit an all-time April record of 501,000 b/d, up by 104,000 b/d on March and by almost 150,000 b/d on the same month a year earlier.
Saudi crude burning averaged 371,000 b/d in the first four months of 2016, up 14% on the same period last year, when annual crude burn hit record levels. But the higher crude oil burn appears to not only be seasonal, but also to reflect a decision to export rather than burn fuel oil in April.
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