10m bar­rels of US oil en route to Asia

New Straits Times - - Business -

HOUS­TON/NEW YORK: Oil tankers car­ry­ing around 10 mil­lion bar­rels of the United States crude were en route to Asia, ac­cord­ing to ship­ping data and trade sources, as US pro­duc­ers take ad­van­tage of favourable prices to ship to the re­gion while the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (Opec) pon­ders fur­ther sup­ply cuts next week.

At least eight tankers were in tran­sit, said sources and the ship­ping data in Thom­son Reuters Eikon showed, with one of them car­ry­ing the first ever cargo of South­ern Green Canyon crude pur­chased by Ja­panese re­finer Cosmo En­ergy. An­other con­tains the first Alaskan North Slope cargo to ar­rive in Asia in eight months.

Opec mem­bers meet next week to dis­cuss ex­tend­ing a global sup­ply cut, but the pos­si­bil­ity of the US sup­ply eat­ing into their mar­ket share will be a chal­lenge. While mem­ber coun­tries have largely re­strained their sup­ply, they have re­mained in­tensely fo­cused on keep­ing mar­ket share with Asian re­fin­ers. But rel­a­tively cheap US crude has buoyed ex­ports to Asia.

Traders ex­pect that May US crude ex­ports could reach around one mil­lion bar­rels per day, with a siz­able por­tion of that go­ing to Asia. Last week, US crude ex­ports touched 1.09 mil­lion bpd, the third high­est on record, ac­cord­ing to US govern­ment data.

“We ex­pect that mo­men­tum to con­tinue when (Dakota Ac­cess Pipe­line) opens and as more Per­mian pro­duc­tion hits Cor­pus Christi docks,” said Sandy Fielden, di­rec­tor of oil and prod­ucts re­search at Morn­ingstar, of the ex­ports.

US oil pro­duc­tion had risen by 10 per cent to 9.3 mil­lion bpd since the mid­dle of last year, ac­cord­ing to the En­ergy In­for­ma­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mean­while, The Philip­pine econ­omy grew at its slow­est pace in more than a year in the first quar­ter on weaker govern­ment spend­ing, but strong ex­ports and do­mes­tic con­sump­tion sug­gest the South­east Asian coun­try re­mains poised to raise rates this year.

It was the slow­est eco­nomic ex­pan­sion since fire­brand Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte took of­fice nearly a year ago, send­ing Manila’s eq­ui­ties down more than one per cent and the peso to a one­week low. Reuters

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