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OPEC Reduces Shipments as Asian Demand Drops, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce shipments by 1.7 percent this month as Asian refiners carry out seasonal maintenance, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC will export 23.88 million barrels a day in the four weeks to June 2, compared with 24.3 million in the period to May 5, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The data exclude Angola and Ecuador. Shipments have dropped since April 21, when they reached their highest level since the Libyan uprising began in February last year, according to the company.

“It’s essentially a decline in east-bound sailings from the peak they hit in April, as the peak maintenance period is this month,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by telephone from Halifax, England. “But the bubble hasn’t deflated and we’re still well above a year ago. Now we’re in the second half of the quarter, which means from here it’s upwards to the summer peak.”

Exports from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will decline 2.7 percent to 17.62 million barrels a day in the four-week period, according to the report.

Crude on board tankers will average 484.2 million barrels, down 5.6 percent from the month to May 5, Oil Movements said. Oil Movements calculates shipments by tallying tanker-rental agreements. Its figures exclude crude held on board ships as floating storage.

OPEC’s members, which pump 40 percent of the world’s oil, are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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