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Asian refiners receive full Saudi crude allocations for May

Singapore — Saudi Aramco's major crude oil buyers in Asia have received full term allocations for Saudi crude oil loading in May, even as Saudi Arabia continues to reduce production as part of the OPEC+ agreement.

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May allocations for key buyers in Asia were met and traders said they were not aware of any cuts.

"We are receiving full allocation [from Saudi Aramco]," said a trader with a North Asian refiner.

Some noted, however, that requests for incremental volumes were not met, similar to previous months.

This is the fourth consecutive month that Aramco has committed to fulfilling Asian term volumes while simultaneously cutting production as part of an OPEC-and-allies agreement.

Asian refiners form a major demand center for Saudi Arabia crude exports, with about 69% of its total exports in 2017 flowing to Asia, according to OPEC's Annual Statistical Bulletin.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer by far, dropped its production by 280,000 b/d in March to 9.87 million b/d, according to a S&P Global Platts survey earlier this month.

That is the kingdom's lowest output since February 2017.

OPEC and 10 non-OPEC allies agreed in December to cut a collective 1.2 million b/d in supplies through June.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih has said he would like to see the deal extended when the coalition meets June 25-26 in Vienna to maintain bullish momentum in the market.

--Ada Taib,

--Edited by Wendy Wells,