OPEC to Increase Shipments on Asian Demand, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will bolster crude shipments through to the middle of next month to meet rising demand in Asia, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will export 23.56 million barrels a day in the four weeks to March 16, up 120,000 barrels or 0.5 percent from the previous period, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador.

“The only possible explanation is relatively strong eastern demand,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said by phone from Halifax, England. “There’s also a slight uptick in western movements, reflecting the fact we’re past the trough” in seasonal consumption, he said.

Middle East shipments will increase by 0.3 percent to 17.22 million barrels a day in the period, compared with 17.16 million in the four weeks to Feb. 16, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will average 464.19 million barrels, up 1.3 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.

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