Saudi Arabia’s May Crude Exports Hit 11-Month High: JODI

Saudi Arabia, world’s largest crude exporter, shipped 7.79 million barrels a day in May, the highest level since June last year when it sold 7.84 million barrels, according to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.

The rise in Saudi shipments came as Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, and Nigeria reported lower exports, while Asian buyers cut back on Iranian crude imports.

The kingdom shipped 7.44 million barrels a day of crude in April when it pumped 9.3 million, the initiative known as JODI said today on its website. Daily production in May advanced to 9.66 million barrels, JODI data showed. Iraq’s shipments fell by 5.3 percent to 2.48 million barrels a day in May, while Nigeria exported 1.91 million, down 192,000 barrels from the previous month, according to JODI.

“It’s very clear that the Saudis are making up for the fall of other OPEC producers,” said Kamel al-Harami, an independent oil analyst based in Kuwait. “With less Nigerian and Iranian crude reaching the market and refineries back from seasonal maintenance, it’s normal to see buyers coming to Saudi Arabia asking for more,” he said today by phone.

Angola boosted exports in May by 11 percent to 1.73 million barrels a day while Algeria, a producer of mostly light crude, posted a 31 percent fall in its shipments to 529,000 barrels a day, the data showed. Venezuelan exports rose slightly to 1.69 million barrels in the month, JODI said.

Kuwait, which didn’t submit data for May, exported 2.23 million barrels a day in April, the highest since at least January 2002, according to its submission today to JODI. Kuwait’s production in May should be similar to April, said al-Harami, as there were supply disruptions in other producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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

Libya, Iran, and United Arab Emirates also didn’t submit data for May.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.