Saudi crude exports fall just as domestic stockpiles dwindle

By Claudia Carpenter on 8/17/2017

DUBAI (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, shipped the least oil in almost three years in June, just as domestic stockpiles are dwindling.

Exports fell to 6.9 MMbpd, the lowest since September 2014, from 6.92 MMbbl in May, according to data Thursday on the Joint Organisations Data Initiative website. Domestic stockpiles stood at 256.6 MMbbl, the lowest since January 2012, the data show.

“You can assume exports will fall even further going forward because they can’t keep running down stockpiles,” said Amrita Sen, an analyst at Energy Aspects in London. “It is clear that the rebalancing process is in full swing, we are drawing down stockpiles everywhere.”

Saudi Arabia’s Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falih last month promised even deeper cuts to crude exports for August, with shipments capped at 6.6 MMbpd. The kingdom and Russia are leading the charge of major oil producers seeking to curb a global glut of crude by cutting output through the end of the first quarter of 2018. Brent crude prices have dropped 11% since the cuts took effect on Jan. 1.

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