Saudi crude exports expected to fall

Data bears out top Opec producer's intention to balance the market.

Saudi Arabia’s crude exports have been tipped to fall below 7m barrels per day (bpd) this summer as the Opec producer seeks to balance the market.

Shipments in May, when total production was 9.88m bpd, averaged below 7m bpd, three industry and shipping sources told Reuters.

Reuters shipping data points to Saudi exports below 7mn bpd in the first two weeks of June, averaging 6.98m bpd.

Roy Mason of ship tracking company Oil Movements said tanker movements suggested shipments to the US were “less than would be seasonally normal.”

US oil imports from Saudi Arabia were above 1m bpd between May and August last year.

So far in June, the figure is below 1m bpd.

Saudi Arabia may be keeping more oil for its power stations, as people use air conditioners in the summer.

Under an Opec cuts deal, Saudi Arabia should not produce more than 10.058m bpd until March.

In the first five months of 2017, its output has been below that target.