Thailand Crude Imports: Abu Dhabi Cements Top Spot

With oil demand in the key developed markets of Europe and North America stagnant-to-falling, Mideast producers are looking to build market share in key developing markets where demand is still growing strongly. Of course China and India are the big two, but with a population of 70 million and crude imports growing 7.4% to top 1.1mn b/d for 2018, Thailand is at the top of the second tier.

The UAE (effectively Abu Dhabi) cemented its position as top crude supplier to Thailand in 2018. Average volumes of 361,000 b/d were up 14.5% on 2017 though still down on 2013’s record 444,000 b/d.

Of Thailand’s record 1.12mn b/d crude imports, almost 1/3 (32.2%) came from the UAE, up from 30.2% for 2017. For December Thailand took 448,000 b/d from the UAE, the highest since September 2016 (see chart 1 and p22 for full data).

The relationship is key in the other direction as well. Thailand’s 361,000 b/d of 2018 imports, made it the UAE’s number two client, well behind Japan but ahead of much larger consumers India and China (see chart 2). (CONTINUED - 886 WORDS)


chart 1: Thailand Crude Imports ('000 B/D): UAE Dominant With 32% Of Total Volumes But Mideast Share Falling Amid Record Buying From USA & Africa
chart 2: UAE Crude Sales To Key Asian Buyers ('000 B/D)