*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 p21 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 - 319 WORDS)