China lifts 83pc of Omani crude sales in Dec

Muscat: China remained the dominant market for Oman crude exports in December 2019, lifting 82.76 per cent of total exports of 28.561 million barrels for the month, Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas announced in its latest report on the Sultanate’s oil output.

South Korea, once a major destination for Omani hydrocarbons, came a distant second with a 10.63 per cent share, followed by Japan with 6.60 per cent of total exports.

The monthly report published by the Ministry of Oil and Gas indicated that crude oil and condensate output totalled 30,084 million barrels in December, representing a daily average of 970,466 barrels. Exports averaged 921,325 barrels per day for the month.

Prices of major crude oil benchmarks around the world were buoyant in December compared to November levels. West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) averaged $59.65 a barrel, up by $2.56compared to November 2019 trading. Likewise, North Sea Brent blend on the ICE in London averaged $65.17 a barrel, which was higher by $2.46 compared to November 2019.

Similarly, the average monthly price of Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME)rose by 4.3 per cent compared with the previous month. The official selling price for Oman Crude Oil during December2019 trading, for the delivery month of February 2020, settled at $65.49 per barrel, up $2.68 compared to January 2019 delivery. The daily trading marker price ranged between $61.76 per barrel and $68.31 per barrel.

During December 2019, several factors fueled the market and prompted prices to climb. The agreement of OPEC and OPEC Plus to deepen the production cut by 500K barrels per day of crude oil in the first quarter of 2020 supported the oil prices move and curbed expectations of oversupply in the market, the Ministry said.

Moreover, the increase in domestic demand for fuel in China with beneficial impacts for manufacturing activities has been observed as an indication of healthy economic growth and extra oil demand in China. In addition, the announcement by the United States and China of the “first stage” of an agreement to settle their trade disputes, and the decline in United States commercial inventories have collectively boosted investor confidence in improving demand for oil in the world’s largest economies, it added.