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OPEC to Reduce Shipments as Demand Weakens, Oil Movements Says

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce shipments through to early September as summer demand for driving fuels ebbs, tanker-tracker Oil Movements said.

The group, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will cut exports by 320,000 barrels a day, or 1.3 percent, to about 23.6 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Sept. 7 from the period to Aug. 10, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“It’s getting toward the end of the season for east and west,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. The cuts are “mainly eastbound,” he said.

Refiners typically trim imports at the start of the third quarter while performing maintenance as summer demand for gasoline and diesel fades. Brent crude traded today at about $109.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, having climbed to a four-month high of $111.53 on Aug. 15 as labor strikes constrain exports from Libya.

Middle Eastern shipments will drop by 1.8 percent to about 17.3 million barrels a day to Sept. 7, compared with about 17.6 million in the month to Aug. 10, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will decline 5.7 percent to 472.2 million barrels on Sept. 7, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings, and excludes 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. It will next meet in Vienna on Dec. 4.

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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