Myanmar emerges as key importer of Oman crude

Myanmar lifted 13.75 per cent of Oman’s total crude exports during May 2018, emerging as the second most important destination for Omani crude. China remained the dominant importer, lifting 73.90 per cent of total exports aggregating 24.186 million barrels in May. Japan, with a 6.31 per cent share, and India (4.15 per cent) were notable markets too, as was Malaysia (2.07 per cent).
Oil and condensate production totalled 30.039 million barrels in May, according to the monthly report of the Ministry of Oil and Gas (MOG). Daily production averaged 780,225 barrels, the report said.
Imports of Omani crude by Malaysia rose 11 per cent compared to corresponding figures for April 2018, according to the report. On the other hand, shipments to Japan and India declined by 4.21 per cent and 2.89 per cent respectively. A portion of this decline was picked up by Myanmar, which posted a notable uptick in demand for Oman crude last month.
The positive tendency in oil prices since the beginning of 2018 was reflected in the May trading session by a significant increase m-o-m in the settlement prices for the major crude oil benchmarks around the world for July 2018 delivery. The average price for West Texas crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) amounted to $69.96 per barrel, up by $3.66 compared to April 2018. The average North Sea Brent mix on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London heaved to $77.01 per barrel, up by $5.24 compared with the previous month’s trading.
The average price of Oman Crude Oil Future Contracts on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) witnessed an 8.90 per cent increase versus figures for the previous month. The official selling price of Oman crude oil during May 2018, for the delivery month of July 2018, settled at $74.41, which was higher by $6.10 compared with April prices. The trading price ranged between $70.51 per barrel and $77.33 per barrel.
The improvement in crude oil prices in May 2018 was attributed to several key factors that positively affected the prices, including fears linked to US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Nuclear Agreement with Iran, concerns over the continuation of Opec production cuts, as well as heightened worries among investors of the increased risk of conflict in the Middle East, which could hamper oil supplies.
The rise in oil prices was also supported by the decrease in Venezuela’s production to the half since the early 2000s, and a larger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories.