*Japan strengthened its position as the UAE’s top crude customer in the first quarter of 2020 taking a record 1.057mn b/d. The UAE at the same time overtook Saudi Arabia (flat at 1.04mn b/d) as the top supplier to the land of the rising sun (see chart 1 and MEES, 1 May for full data). This comes as Saudi Arabia has focused on growing volumes in its top market, China, where it maintained top spot ahead of Russia for Q1 (MEES, 1 May). March saw Japan import a monthly record 1.209mn b/d from the UAE.
*In terms of grades, Abu Dhabi’s Murban, with a record 439,400 b/d for Q1 (see chart 2), now rivals Saudi Arab Extra Light (455,200 b/d) as Japanese refiners’ top choice. (CONTINUED - 320 WORDS)