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OPEC Exports Slip on Asia Refiner Overhauls, Oil Movements Says

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will trim crude shipments through early April while refiners in Asia perform seasonal maintenance work, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will reduce crude shipments by 40,000 barrels a day, or 0.2 percent, to 23.72 million barrels a day in the four weeks to April 6, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“Asia is heading into the peak of their maintenance,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. “Runs start to pick up toward the end of the quarter, which means crude demand picks up at the end of next month. But April itself is a dead month.”

Middle East shipments will decrease by 0.2 percent to 17.37 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.41 million in the four weeks to March 9, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will average 473.51 million barrels, up 1.6 percent on the previous period, the data show. Oil Movements calculates the volumes by tallying tanker bookings. Its figures exclude crude held on vessels for storage.

OPEC comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The organization is next scheduled to meet in May.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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