Saudi Arabia, Iraq Raise January Oil Shimpents Slightly

Saudi Arabia and Iraq raised crude oil exports in January for the first time in three months, as demand from Asian countries climbed, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.

The Saudi kingdom shipped 7.09 million barrels a day, up 30,000 barrels a day from December, data posted today on the initiative’s website showed. Exports in January were 5.5 percent lower than the same month last year, according to JODI.

Iraq, the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, increased daily exports in January by 10,000 barrels to 2.36 million barrels a day, the data showed.

Saudi Arabia’s stocks of crude oil fell for the third month in a row, reaching 274.6 million barrels at the end of January, according to JODI. The country burned 318,000 barrels a day of crude during the month to generate electricity, down 4.8 percent from a year ago.

Demand for OPEC crude is estimated to average 29.7 million barrels a day in 2013, the organization said in its monthly oil report on March 12. That’s a drop of 400,000 barrels a day from last year, and a downward adjustment of 100,000 barrels a day from February’s report, it said. OPEC supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil.

India, Asia’s second largest importer of crude after China, increased demand 16 percent to 4.2 million barrels a day in January, JODI data showed. Singapore, a major trading hub for Saudi crude, boosted imports 62 percent to 1.04 million barrels a day, while demand in Japan rose 2 percent to 3.8 million barrels a day, the data showed. China didn’t submit its imports data for January.

JODI, supervised by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum, uses statistics supplied by national governments to compile data on imports, exports and output for oil-producing and consuming nations. The data include crude oil and condensates and exclude natural-gas liquids.

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