Saudi Keeps Crude Exports Tight Despite Us Pressure

Saudi Arabia is keeping crude oil exports constrained despite growing pressure from the US to open the taps. Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the latest get-together of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Jeddah on 19 May that, with global inventories still rising, there is as yet no imperative to abandon production constraints.

Crude export figures appear to bolster Mr Falih’s statement. The latest Jodi data shows Saudi export volumes edged up to 7.14mn b/d for March, but this is still lower than January’s 7.25mn b/d. Overall, Q1 crude exports averaged 7.12mn b/d, the lowest quarterly figure since 4Q 2017 (see chart 1 and MEES, 24 May for full data). They appear on track to dip further in Q2. MEES pegs exports at a shade over 7mn b/d during April, and slightly less than this over the first half of May. (CONTINUED - 950 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Saudi Oil Exports (Mn B/D): Combined Crude & Products Exports Broke Annual Records In 2019 But Both Have Dropped In Early 2019 Amid Production Cuts (Mn B/D)
chart Big Four Asian Buyers Increase Saudi Imports To Record Levels In 1q 2019 ('000 B/D)