*Latest South Korean crude and condensate import data show record Q1 volumes from both the US and Russia amid a long-standing policy to reduce reliance on the Middle East. Though the Middle East still supplied 73% of Korea’s Q1 imports (2.24mn b/d of the total 3.07mn b/d) this is the second lowest quarterly share on record after the 69% figure in Q4 last year (MEES, 11 January).
*Opec volumes were down even further: Q1’s 2.163mn b/d was the lowest quarterly figure since 2014, whilst Opec’s 70.5% Q1 market share was the lowest on record. Both figures would have been up, however, were it not for Qatar (129,000 b/d for Q1) leaving Opec. On a monthly basis, March’s 1.91mn b/d was the first time since 2010 that Opec volumes have been below 2mn b/d (see table). (CONTINUED - 362 WORDS)