OPEC Exports Seen Stable Amid ‘Glum’ Demand, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will keep shipments little changed this month as “glum” demand in the U.S. and Europe counters rising consumption in Asia, tanker tracker Oil Movements said.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will ship 23.67 million barrels a day in the four weeks to May 18, stable from 23.68 million in the previous period, the researcher said today in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude Angola and Ecuador. U.S. crude imports by tanker have fallen about 13 percent this year, the consultant said.

“Import demand in the west is dead,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder said by phone from Halifax, England. “If there’s going to be a ramp-up this summer the demand is going to have to come from the east.”

Middle East shipments will be little changed at 17.35 million barrels a day in the four weeks to May 18, compared with 17.36 million during the month to April 20, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will average 468.34 million barrels to May 18, up 0.3 percent from the previous period, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher 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. The group will next meet on May 31 in Vienna to discuss output policy.

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