A leading tanker tracker group Thursday forecast that OPEC seaborne exports will rise 150,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to Dec. 9, but revised down its figures from last week's report and said shipments were actually flat, not up, as originally forecast.
Exports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are expected to rise almost 1%, or 150,000 b/d to 24.58 million b/d in the four weeks to Dec. 9 from 24.43 million b/d in the four weeks to Nov. 11, according to U.K.-based Oil Movements.
Much of the rise, however, isn't from a material increase in OPEC shipments, but is driven more by a weaker set of data in early November that exaggerates the upside in this week's report, said Oil Movements' head Roy Mason.
"There's not a real increase in shipments. This is more from a low week in early November," Mason said.
On a short-time horizon basis, Mason said OPEC shipments this week compared with last week are expected to fall 50,000 b/d.
In its revision to last week's report, the tanker tracker consultant said OPEC exports were unchanged in the four weeks to Dec. 2 from the four weeks to Nov. 4, and didn't rise by an expected 210,000 b/d, as originally forecast.
"It was flat. We got more information" that showed shipments didn't rise, Mason said.
Mason said he didn't expect much of a change in OPEC exports in next week's report. "I don't see much change looking at how the spot tanker market looks. There's not much in the pipeline," Mason said.
He added: "The real story in general is that shipments are not going up to the degree that would be expected for this time of year."
Last week, Geneva-based tanker tracker Petrologistics estimated that OPEC shipments would fall 1.1 million b/d in November compared with October, in line with OPEC's decision in October to slice output by 1.2 million b/d from the start of November.
Many other oil analysts have questioned OPEC's adherence to its decision and say the producer group was likely to achieve just half of the announced reduction.
Oil Movements forecasts exports based on spot and term chartering of crude oil from OPEC's 11 members, whose output meets about 40% of the 85 million barrels consumed daily.