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Iraq state crude marketer Somo says that for 2019 it is allocating 67% of exports for Asia, 20% for Europe and 13% for the Americas (primarily the US). An oil ministry statement notes the regional portions were set “in accordance with the ministry’s production program” based on existing customers, having also “reviewed purchasing orders from new companies that seem to be qualified to purchase Iraqi crude.” Allocations are nonetheless flexible and subject to change.
Whilst Iraq exported only 56% of its crude to Asia in 2017, the portion has grown significantly in recent months. Based on shipping traffic, MEES puts crude shipments to Asia at 68% in October and 63% in September. China is the largest buyer and has been taking around 900,000 b/d this year (see chart, MEES, 30 November ). (CONTINUED - 163 WORDS)