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Asia is by far the most important oil export market for Opec and the dependency is increasing. Opec exports to the region have increased both in terms of volume and as a percentage of overall exports over the past five years, and preliminary import data shows that this has continued into 2016.
However, while the importance of the Asian market for Opec has been growing, Opec’s importance to the region has been falling. IGA and Opec data shows that in 2011, 65.5% of Asia’s oil imports came from Opec, but this fell to 61.2% in 2014 and just 60.1% last year. But Opec’s Saudi-driven strategy to secure market share in the face of falling oil prices since late 2014 appears to be working, as the grouping has reclaimed lost market share in its four largest Asian markets in early 2016.
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