Kuwait says oil shipments to China stable

Though overall Chinese imports of crude oil jumped more than 10 percent, OPEC-member Kuwait said its exports to the second-largest economy remained stable.

img_4036Kuwait is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and helps steer a committee monitoring a multilateral effort to trim the global surplus of crude oil through managed production declines. Kuwait produced 2.7 million barrels of oil per day in July, putting it at the No. 5 spot behind the United Arab Emirates.
The official Kuwait News Agency, known also as KUNA, said oil exports for the first seven months of the year averaged 321,000 barrels per day, unchanged from the previous year. Compared with last July, however, Kuwait exported 19.7 percent fewer barrels to China.

Russia is China’s top crude oil supplier and July exports of 8.2 million barrels per day were 11.8 percent higher than the previous year. OPEC members are the next five largest suppliers of crude oil to China, KUNA reported.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.83 percent at the close of trading Friday. The official Xinhua News agency reported markets were up in part because of the strong performance from the coal sector. Coal player Yang Quan Coal Industry closed up 6.75 percent.

Oil export figures are important for traders watching oil movements at a time when balancing concerns are keeping crude oil prices at a level that’s about 50 percent less than three years ago. In early August, Kuwait Petroleum International sent the first of six shipments of crude oil to the Nghi Son refinery in Vietnam. The shipment aligned with the strategic objectives to find new outlets for Kuwait oil and expanding investment opportunities.

Higher exports from Kuwait should matter in OPEC’s effort short-term, but balance out against domestic inventories over a period of time. In total, Kuwait plans to send 12 million barrels of crude oil to Vietnam.

By Daniel J. Graeber