OPEC Cuts Exports to Lowest in Two Months, Oil Movements Says

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut crude shipments to the lowest level since late November as demand from Asia remains weak, according to Oil Movements.

OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will reduce sailings by 660,000 barrels a day, or 2.7 percent, to 23.49 million barrels in the four weeks to Feb. 1, the researcher said today in a report. That compares with 24.15 million in the period to Jan. 4. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“It’s quite a steep decline,” Oil Movements founder Roy Mason said by phone from Halifax, England. “Eastern demand has moved the market for the past five years and it’s low, maybe even non-existent at this point.”

OPEC forecast today that demand for its crude this year will remain below the group’s output target, and said that its oil production fell last month to the lowest level since May 2011. Brent futures traded near $107 a barrel in London today after losing about 3.4 percent this year.

Middle Eastern exports will decrease by 3.1 percent to 17.15 million barrels a day in the month to Feb. 1, compared with 17.69 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. The figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will drop 2.7 percent to 477.26 million barrels through Feb. 1 from 490.60 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.

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