Major Asian oil importers have been notably quiet since Opec+ opted to cut production quotas earlier this month. Their silence is a marked contrast with the anguished cries from the US, where politicians see their political fortunes reflected in pump prices, and indeed is a notable difference from last year when India in particular voiced concern over tight markets and rising prices (MEES, 2 April 2021).

Keeping key Asian buyers onside has been a clear PR success for Opec+ and Saudi Arabia in particular, and undermines US accusations that the producer alliance’s actions are threatening market stability. Keeping its largest buyers onside is an imperative for Saudi Arabia, even if its clients have few alternatives currently, and the past two weeks saw Riyadh engage in some public petro-diplomacy. (CONTINUED - 933 WORDS)