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OPEC Crude Exports to Drop Amid Winter Lull, Oil Movements Says

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut crude shipments through mid-January amid a lull in winter demand in the Northern Hemisphere, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will reduce sailings by 410,000 barrels a day, or 1.7 percent, to 23.65 million barrels in the four weeks to Jan. 18, the researcher said today in a report. That compares with 24.06 million in the period to Dec. 21. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“It’s just a pause in the winter cycle,” Oil Movements founder Roy Mason said by phone from Halifax, England. “There is a second winter peak in sailings to come early next month.”

Global oil demand typically climbs during the fourth quarter, with rising consumption of heating fuels during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Brent futures traded near $107 a barrel in London today after losing 0.3 percent in 2013.

Middle Eastern exports will decrease 1.7 percent to 17.3 million barrels a day in the month to Jan. 18, compared with 17.6 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. The figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will drop 0.6 percent to 485.2 million barrels through Jan. 18 from 488.17 million in the previous period, 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. The group will next meet on June 11 at its headquarters in Vienna.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

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

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