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OPEC Will Cut Exports on Refiner Maintentance

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce its crude shipments this month as demand from refiners dips during seasonal maintenance, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will reduce crude exports by about 210,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, to 23.65 million a day in the four weeks to April 27, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

Middle East shipments will decrease by 1.2 percent to 17.3 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.51 million in the four weeks to March 30, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

OPEC and the International Energy Agency this week lowered their forecasts for global oil demand this year as the euro area’s debt crisis continues to weigh on the economy. OPEC trimmed its 2013 estimate by 40,000 barrels a day yesterday, predicting that demand will grow by 800,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, to 89.66 million a day.

The IEA reduced its estimate by 45,000 barrels a day today, predicting that world consumption will increase by a “subdued” 795,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, to 90.58 million barrels a day this year.

Crude on board tankers will average 468.93 million barrels, down 1.7 percent from the previous period, Oil Movements’ data show. Oil Movements calculates the volumes by tallying tanker bookings. Its figures exclude crude held on vessels for storage.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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