Gulf Oil and Gas accountACCOUNT

Oil Trade - Nov 08

Source: OPEC_RP081111 11/17/2008, Location: Europe

OECD
OECD crude oil imports in August averaged 30.37 mb/d indicating a decline of 358,000 b/d or 1.2% compared to the previous month, according to preliminary data. August crude oil imports were also 2.2% lower than a year earlier. Lower OECD crude oil imports in August are attributed to lower imports of countries such as Canada (-271,000 b/d), France (-261,000 b/d) and South Korea (-184,000 b/d) from the previous month, which more than offset increases in imports of countries like the US, UK and Japan over the same period. For the first eight months of 2008, OECD countries imported an average of 30.45 mb/d almost identical with their average crude oil imports during the same period last year — in other words OECD countries show no annual growth in imports during this period and, with the current pessimistic economic outlook, negative growth is expected for the coming months, especially for these countries.

On the other hand, about 75% of the decline in OECD’s crude oil imports in August is attributed to lower imports from outside the OECD. OECD countries imported an average of 24.04 mb/d of crude oil from outside the area in August, indicating a decline of 269,000 b/d or 1.1% compared to the previous month. The decline is mainly attributed to lower crude oil imports from Azerbaijan (-249,000 b/d), Brazil (-136,000 b/d) and Russia (-132,000 b/d) from the previous month, which more than offset increases of imports from OPEC Member Countries by 115,000 b/d and Colombia by 70,000 b/d. Crude oil imports from within the OECD area were 6.34 mb/d in August, indicating a drop of 1.4%, or 88,000 b/d compared to the previous month. Canada, Norway, Mexico and the UK are the top OECD crude oil suppliers to the OECD area in August, in a descending order. Crude oil imports from outside the OECD area for the first eight months of 2008 averaged 24.07 mb/d, indicating annual growth of 1.7% compared to the same period last year, while imports from within the OECD area averaged 6.38 mb/d, indicating an annual decline rate of 5.7%.

Similarly, OECD product imports in August declined by 533,000 b/d or 4.9%, compared to the previous month to average 10.28 mb/d. August product imports were also 3% lower than a year earlier. Average OECD product imports for the first eight months of 2008 were 10.61 mb/d indicating a very low annual growth of only 0.3% compared to the same period last year. About 59% of OECD product imports in August were supplied from within the OECD area, and 41% from outside. The 533,000 b/d decline in OECD product imports in August was the result of a drop of 279,000 b/d in imports originating from outside OECD and a decline of 254,000 b/d from within the OECD. Product imports from outside the OECD area declined by 5% during the first eight months of 2008 compared to the same period last year, while imports from within the OECD countries increased by 4.6% over the same period.

On the export side, OECD crude oil exports averaged 5.97 mb/d in August, indicating a substantial increase of 10.1% or 549,000 b/d compared to the previous month, yet were 11.9% or 805,000 b/d lower compared to August 2007. The sharp increase of Norway’s crude oil exports by 672,000 b/d was the main reason for higher OECD crude oil exports in August which offset declines in exports countries like the UK, by 231,000 b/d, both compared to the previous month. Average crude oil exports for the OECD Countries for the first eight months of 2008 were 6.1 mb/d, about 698,000 b/d or 8.1% lower than in the same period last year.

OECD product exports in August were about 10.28 mb/d, some 56,000 b/d or 0.6% higher than in the previous month. Increases in product exports of the Netherlands by 303,000 b/d and Japan by 111,000 b/d more than offset declines in exports of countries like France by 105,000 b/d and Germany by 92,000 b/d. On a y-o-y basis, OECD product exports in August were about 12.7% higher than in August 2007. OECD product exports for the first eight months of 2008 were at 9.71 mb/d, some 652,000 b/d or 7.2% higher than in the same period in 2007. The slight increase in OECD product exports in August compared to the previous month is attributed to higher exports to outside OECD area by 491,000 b/d, while exports to within the OECD declined by 435,000 b/d.

Accordingly, OECD net oil imports in August averaged 24.41 mb/d indicating a decline of 5.8% or 1.5 mb/d compared to the previous month and 5.2% compared to August 2007. At the same time, net oil imports for the first eight months of 2008 averaged 25.26 mb/d, indicating 0.4% annual growth over the same period in 2007. During the first eight months of 2008, OECD net crude oil imports were at 24.35 mb/d, up by 3%, or 0.71 mb/d compared to the same period in 2007, while net product imports were at 0.9 mb/d, down by 41% or 618,000 b/d compared to the same period last year. Net crude oil imports from outside the OECD were 24.36 mb/d in August, down by 1.0 mb/d or 4% compared to the previous month, while net crude oil imports from within the OECD area were 46,000 b/d, down by 481,000 b/d or 91% over the same period.

Saudi Arabia was the top OECD crude oil supplier in August with a 14.2% share, down from 14.7% in the previous month, followed by Russia with 12.4%, down from 12.8%. Canada supplied 6.1% and Norway 5.9% respectively. Altogether, OPEC Member Countries supplied 55.3% of total OECD crude oil imports in August, up from 54.3% in the previous month. At the same time, OPEC Member Countries supplied about 16.8 mb/d of crude oil to OECD Countries in August, representing 70% of total OECD imports from outside OECD. For products, OPEC Member Countries’ share of total OECD product imports in August was 15.2%, down from 16% in the previous month. OPEC’s supply of products to the OECD countries in August was about 1.56 mb/d, representing 42% of total OECD product imports from outside OECD countries and 26% of imports from within OECD. Saudi Arabia supplied 3.7%, Venezuela supplied 2.3%, Algeria 2.1% and Kuwait 2%. OECD’s top non-OPEC product supplier in August was the Netherlands with 11.2%, followed by Russia and the USA with 10.2% and 10.1% respectively.

USA
According to official data, US crude oil imports rebounded in October to average 10.2 mb/d, the highest monthly average since October last year. US crude oil imports in October were 18.4% or 1.59 mb/d higher than the record-low monthly imports of 8.62 m/d in the previous month and also 419,000 b/d or 4.3% higher than in the same month last year. Despite this substantial increase, average crude oil imports for the first ten months of 2008 were 9.8 mb/d, 2.6% or 257,000 b/d lower than in the same period last year. This decline is attributed to the overall state of the slowing US economy, which has hit sales for almost all products, apart from gasoil, since December 2007.

Contrary to crude oil imports, US product imports were almost steady in October, declining by only 1% compared to the previous month to average 3.29 mb/d, yet they were 3% higher than in October 2007. Apart from distillate fuel oil, almost all major product imports were lower in October than in the previous month. Finished motor gasoline imports dropped in October by 64,000 b/d or 17% compared to the previous month to reach 304,000 b/d. Average US gasoline imports for the first ten months of 2008 dropped also by 17% compared to the same period last year to average 357,000 b/d. Distillate fuel oil imports increased in October by 5,000 b/d or 3% compared to the previous month to average 171,000 b/d. Average distillate fuel oil imports for the first ten months of 2008 were 204,000 b/d indicating a drop of 112,000 b/d or 35% compared to the same period last year. Residual fuel oil imports dropped in October by 73,000 b/d or 20% compared to the previous month, reaching about 293,000 b/d. In the first ten months of 2008, the US imported 5% less of residual fuel oil than in the same period last year. On average, US product imports declined by 327,000 b/d or 9.3% in the first ten months of 2008 compared to the same period last year.

On the export side, US product exports increased by 170,000 b/d or 12.7% in October compared to the previous month to average 1.51 mb/d. This represents an increase of 191,000 b/d or 15% compared to their levels a year earlier. Average US product exports for the first ten months of 2008 were 1.8 mb/d indicating an increase of 442,000 b/d or 32.5% compared to the same period last year.

As a result, US net oil imports increased by 13% in October compared to the previous month to reach about 11.96 mb/d. The 1.38 mb/d increase in net oil imports in October came as a result of the 1.58 mb/d increase in net crude oil imports and the 0.2 mb/d decline in net product imports compared to the previous month. On a y-o-y basis, US net oil imports in October were 2.6% higher than in the same month last year. Average net oil imports for the first ten months of 2008 were 11.14 mb/d indicating a drop of 1.0 mb/d or 8.5% compared to the same period last year.

Canada was the top crude oil supplier to the US in August with a share of 17.8%, down from 19.4% in the previous month, followed by Saudi Arabia with 14.9%, down from 16.4% in the previous month. Mexico and Venezuela came next with 12.6% and 11.1% respectively. Altogether, OPEC Member Countries supplied 56.6% of total US crude oil imports in August, up from 55.2% in the previous month. For product imports, Russia became the top product supplier to the US in August with a share of 13.3%, up from 12% in the previous month. Canada was next with a share of 13.2%, down from 14.5% in the previous month, followed by the Virgin Islands with 10.7%. For OPEC Member Countries, Algeria supplied 6.5% of total US oil product imports in August, followed by Venezuela with 5.7% and Nigeria with 4.7%. Altogether OPEC Member Countries supplied 20.4% of US product imports in August, up from 18.5% in the previous month. For US product exports in August, Mexico was the top importer with a share of 16.9%, down from 20% in the previous month, followed by Canada with 10.1% and the Netherlands with 7.4%. Altogether, OPEC Member Countries imported 3.8% of total US product exports in August, up from 2.7% in the previous month. Venezuela imported 2.1% and Nigeria 0.9%.

Japan
According to Japanese published data, Japan’s crude oil imports in September averaged 4.03 mb/d, indicating a y-o-y increase of 13% or about 0.46 mb/d compared to September 2007, yet were lower by 2.5% or 102,000 b/d compared to the previous month. The m-o-m drop is in line with the falling rates of oil product sales in this country, which dropped in September, for the fourth straight month, by 11.9% compared to September 2007. Despite this month-to-month decline, Japan imported an average of 4.26 mb/d of crude oil in the first three quarters of 2008, indicating annual growth of 6.6% or 263,000 b/d compared to the same period in 2007.

Japan’s product imports in September increased by 61,000b/d or 5.4% compared to the previous month, to average about 1.19 mb/d, displaying an annual increase of 1.7% compared to a year earlier. Japan mainly imports three products, namely naphtha, LPG and fuel oil, which constituted more than 97% of its total monthly product imports in September. Average LPG imports in September were about 387,000 b/d steady compared to the previous month and about 2.6% higher than a year earlier. For the first three quarters of 2008, Japan imported an average of 438,000 b/d of LPG almost identical to last year’s average for the same period. Naphtha imports averaged 686,000 b/d in September, 15.9% or 94,000 b/d higher than in the previous month and steady compared to a year earlier. Naphtha imports for the first three quarters of 2008 were 8.7% lower than in the same period last year. Fuel oil imports in September were 88,000 b/d, representing a drop of 50,000 b/d or 36% from the previous month, but 6.8% higher from a year earlier. Fuel oil imports for the first three quarters of 2008 averaged 110,000 b/d, 69% higher than in the same period last year. Total product imports for the first three quarters of 2008 averaged 1.16 mb/d, 3.1% lower compared to the same period last year.

On the export side, Japan’s product exports in September declined by 17% compared to the previous month, but were 6.2% higher than a year earlier averaging 709,000 b/d. Gasoil exports in September were about 229,000 b/d, down by 31.6% or 106,000 b/d compared to the previous month, but 18.6% higher than in September 2007. During the first three quarters of 2008, Japan exported an average of 237,000 b/d of gasoil, a substantial 58% increase over the same period last year. Jet fuel exports in September were about 294,000 b/d, almost steady compared to the previous month, but 19% higher compared to a year earlier. Jet fuel exports for the first three quarters of 2008 averaged 230,000 b/d, 15% higher than in the same period last year. Fuel oil exports in September were about 146,000 b/d, 20% lower than in the previous month and 14% lower than a year earlier. Japan exported lower quantities of kerosene, lubricating oil, gasoline, asphalt and LPG in September, totaling 41,000 b/d. Average product exports for the first three quarters of 2008 were about 683,000 b/d, indicating annual growth of 21.7% or 122,000 b/d compared to the same period in 2007.

As a result, Japan’s net oil imports in September were about 4.51 mb/d, indicating an increase of 103,000 b/d or 2.3% compared to the previous month and 10.9% compared to a year earlier. Average net oil imports for the first three quarters of 2008 were 4.73 mb/d, indicating a 104,000 b/d or 2.3% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. Japan’s net product imports for the first three quarters of 2008 declined to 473,000 b/d from 633,000 b/d during the same period last year. This was mainly due to the 21.7% increase of its exports over the same period.

The UAE was Japan’s top crude oil supplier in September, replacing Saudi Arabia for the first time since March last year. The UAE supplied 24.8% of Japan’s crude oil imports in September, up from 23.8% in the previous month. Saudi Arabia’s share was 24.3%, down from 24.6% in the previous month. Qatar supplied 12.1% of Japan’s crude oil imports in August, up from 11.5% in the previous month, while Iran’s share was 10.8%, down from 13.4% in the previous month. OPEC Member Countries supplied 88.2% of Japan’s crude oil imports in August, up from 88.0% in the previous month. Top non-OPEC crude oil suppliers in September include Russia with 3.5%, up from 2.6% in the previous month, and Oman with 2.5%, unchanged from the previous month. On the product side, preliminary data indicate that Saudi Arabia was Japan’s top supplier in September with 16.0%, down from 17.6% in the previous month, followed by the UAE with 14.1% and Kuwait with 12.2%. Altogether, OPEC Member Countries supplied 57.4% of Japan’s product imports in July, up from 56.1%% in the previous month. Top non-OPEC product suppliers in September include South Korea with 8.6% and the USA with 8.5%.

China
According to official Chinese data, China’s crude oil imports declined in September to 3.67 mb/d, 0.8% or 29,000 b/d lower than in the previous month, yet they were 10% higher than in September last year. Average crude oil imports for the first three quarters of 2008 were 3.61 mb/d indicating some 0.28 mb/d or 8.4% annual growth over the same period last year. On the other hand, China’s crude oil production in September was almost steady compared to the previous month; averaging 3.8 mb/d. China’s September crude oil production was about 130,000 b/d higher than the country’s crude oil imports in the same month.

Similarly, China’s product imports declined for the second month in a row to average 0.77 mb/d, the lowest average since December last year, indicating a decline of 191,000 b/d or 20% compared to the previous month, and 13% compared to a year earlier. Apart from fuel oil, imports of all major products dropped in September compared to the previous month. China imported about 35,000 b/d of gasoline in September, down from 106,000 b/d in the previous month. South Korea supplied 76% of China’s gasoline imports in September and Singapore supplied the rest. Jet fuel imports in September reached about 128,000 b/d, down from 158,000 b/d in the previous month. South Korea supplied about 55% of China’s jet fuel imports in September, followed by Japan with 34%. Naphtha imports in August were about 16,000 b/d, down from 26,000 b/d in the previous month. South Korea supplied all China’s naphtha imports in this month. Gasoil imports in September were about 84,000 b/d, a substantial decline from 214,000 b/d in the previous month. Russia supplied 49% of this volume followed by Japan with 26%. China imported about 315,000 b/d of fuel oil in September, about 20% higher than in the previous month. The share of China’s fuel oil imports in its total product imports increased from 27% in the previous month to 41% in September. Venezuela was once again China’s top fuel oil supplier in September with 27%, followed by South Korea with 21%. Imports of LPG averaged 45,000 b/d in September, down from 48,000 b/d in the previous month. The UAE supplied 33% of China’s LPG imports in September, followed by Saudi Arabia with 24%. Imports of asphalt averaged about 235,000 metric tonnes in September, down from 286,000 metric tonnes in the previous month. Altogether, China imported an average of 1.01 mb/d of products in the first three quarters of 2008, indicating annual growth of 8.5% over the same period last year. In September, fuel oil imports accounted for 41% of China’s total product imports, jet fuel for 17%, gasoil for 11%, LPG for 6%, gasoline for 5% and naphtha for 2%.

On the export side, China’s crude oil exports in September were 141,000 b/d up from 94,000 b/d in the previous month. About 33% of China’s crude oil exports in September were destined to the USA and 24% to Japan. Average crude oil exports for the first three quarters of 2008 were 75,000 b/d, about 17% higher than in the same period last year.

China’s product exports in August were 0.41 mb/d, steady compared to the previous month, but 8% lower than in September last year. The drop in fuel oil exports offset increases in all other major product exports in this month. Average product exports for the first three quarters of 2008 were about 0.4 mb/d, almost steady compared to the same period last year.

Fuel oil exports in September were 134,000 b/d down by 18% or 30,000 b/d from the previous month. The main destinations for China’s fuel oil exports in September were Panama with 40% followed by Hong Kong with 17%. Exports of jet fuel in September were about 113,000 b/d, up from 102,000 b/d in the previous month. About 47% of China’s jet fuel exports in this month headed to Hong Kong and 12% to the USA. Gasoline exports were 57,000 b/d, up from 41,000 b/d in the previous month. Indonesia and Singapore imported 42% and 41% of China’s gasoline exports in September respectively. Typically, China is a major Asian gasoline exporter. In its preparation for the Olympics, the country turned into a net gasoline importer for four successive months starting in May 2008. As expected, China has switched back to be a net gasoline exporter in September. Net gasoline exports were 22,000 b/d compared to net imports of 66,000 b/d in the previous month. China’s naphtha exports in September were about 26,000 b/d, up from 13,000 b/d in the previous month. About 62% of China’s naphtha exports headed to Japan and the rest to South Korea. Gasoil exports in September were 6,000 b/d, up from 5,000 b/d in the previous month. China exported 23,000 b/d of LPG in September, 44% of which to Vietnam and 32% to Hong Kong. Fuel oil exports accounted for 33% of China’s total product exports in September, jet fuel for 28%, and gasoline for 14%, and naphtha for 6% and gasoil for 2%.

With net crude oil imports at 3.53 mb/d and net product imports at 0.36 mb/d, China’s net oil imports in September were 3.89 mb/d, 6.4% or 268,000 b/d lower than in the previous month and also 4.2% lower than a year earlier. Lower net oil imports in September brought China’s average net oil imports for the first three quarters of 2008 to about 4.15 mb/d, 9% higher than in the same period last year.

Once again, Saudi Arabia was China’s top crude oil supplier in September with a share of 27.1%, surging up from 14.4% in the previous month. Angola was next with 14.3%, down from 20% in the previous month. Iran’s share of China’s total crude oil imports in September was 12.7%, up from 11.9% in the previous month, followed by Oman with 9.2%. Altogether, OPEC Member Countries supplied 64.9% of China’s crude oil imports in September, up from 61.3% in the previous month. Top non-OPEC crude oil suppliers in September include Oman, with 9.2%, Russia with 6% and Sudan with 5.1%.

India
According to preliminary data, India’s crude oil imports in September declined by 66,000 b/d or 2.6% compared to the previous month to reach about 2.51 mb/d, indicating a 21.4% y-o-y increase compared to September last year. Higher crude oil imports in 2008 are mainly attributed to higher overseas purchases by Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, which are export-oriented companies. In September, Essar Oil was running its unit at a higher capacity and Reliance Petroleum was about to commission its 580,000 b/d refinery. India's average crude oil imports for the first three quarters of 2008 were about 2.57 mb/d, 7% or 169,000 b/d higher than in the same period last year, supported by strong domestic fuel sales which grew by 7.8% in September, compared to a year earlier, and up from 3.6% in the previous month.

India’s product imports in August averaged about 0.3 mb/d, the lowest level since February last year. Although India’s domestic product sales increased in September by about 7.8% compared to a year earlier, total product imports declined by 30% over the same period. This is mainly attributed to the fact that major private refiners in India like Reliance and Essar Oil are selling more products domestically to meet higher demand. It is for this reason that there were no gasoil and gasoline imports in September although their domestic sales increased by 17.3% and 9.8% respectively compared to the same period last year. India imported an average of 107,000 b/d of gasoil in September 2007, representing 19% of its total product imports at that Time. The entire drop in the country’s gasoil imports in September is the main cause of the y-o-y 30% drop in total product imports. At the same time, higher gasoil sales in September are mainly attributed to higher demand by private power generators who have switched to gasoil over naphtha and fuel oil. Gasoil prices in India are subsidized, while naphtha and fuel oil prices are not.

LPG imports in September averaged about 88,000 b/d compared to about 57,000 b/d in the previous month, yet they were 8% lower than a year earlier. Imports of naphtha increased in September by 7% compared to the previous month to reach 132,000 b/d, yet they were 40% lower than a year earlier. India imported about 17,000 b/d of fuel oil in September, down from 19,000 b/d in August, and about 10,000 b/d of kerosene, down from 57,000 b/d in August. Altogether, India imported an average of 0.41 mb/d of products during the first three quarters of 2008, indicating a decline of 26,000 b/d or 5.8% compared to the same period last year.

On the export side, India’s total product exports of 756,000 b/d in September were almost unchanged compared to the previous month, but were 19% lower than a year earlier. Declines in naphtha and gasoil exports were offset by increases in gasoline exports. Fuel oil exports in September averaged 123,000 b/d, unchanged from the previous month. In the first three quarters of 2008, India exported 36% more of fuel oil than in the same period last year.

Jet fuel exports were 72,000 b/d in September, 8% higher compared to the previous month, yet 26% lower than a year earlier. Gasoil exports in September averaged 279,000 b/d, 3.6% higher than in August, but 41% lower than in September last year. In the first three quarters of 2008, India exported an average of 289,000 b/d of gasoil, about 7% lower than in the same period last year. Gasoline exports increased substantially in September, averaging about 114,000 b/d, up from 5,500 b/d in August. Average gasoline exports during the first three quarters of 2008 were about 13% higher than in the same period last year. Naphtha exports were 143,000 b/d in September, down from 175,000 b/d in the previous month and from 278,000 b/d in September last year. Naphtha exports during the first three quarters of 2008 were 33% lower than in the same period last year. Altogether, India exported an average of 0.74 mb/d of oil products during the first three quarters of 2008, 13.6%, or 117,000 b/d lower than in the same period last year.

As a result, India’s net oil imports in September averaged 2.05 mb/d displaying a decline of 5.8% or 127,000 b/d compared to the previous month, but 31.6% higher compared to a year earlier. In the first three quarters of 2008, India's net oil imports averaged 2.24 mb/d 13.1%, or 260,000 b/d higher than in the same period last year. The decline in net oil imports in August is attributed to a 66,000 b/d drop in net crude oil imports and a 61,000 b/d drop in net product imports.

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