Saudi Energy Minister: China Has Not yet Asked for More Crude Oil

Friday, 26 April, 2019 - 04:45
Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Thursday that China has “not yet” asked for more crude oil after the US decided to end sanction waivers on Iranian oil imports.

On being asked if other Asian buyers had asked for more crude oil, al-Falih told Reuters: “In the beginning of May, we will find out demand for June and will be responsive.”

Saudi Arabia’s April crude oil production was nearly steady with previous months and will be in the 9.8 million barrels per day (bpd) range or “maybe lower”, he said.

Washington said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action.

Oil prices dipped on Friday on hopes that producer club OPEC will soon raise output to make
up for a decline in exports from Iran following the US tightening of sanctions on Tehran.

Despite this, oil markets remain tight amid supply disruptions and rising geopolitical concerns, especially over the tensions between the United States and Iran, putting prices on course for the longest run of weekly gains in years.

Brent crude futures were at $74.17 per barrel at 0430 GMT, down 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.92 per barrel, down 29 cents, or 0.4 percent.

The dip followed Brent's rise above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on Thursday after Germany, Poland and Slovakia suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality. The move cut parts of Europe off from a major supply route.

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