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Saudi Arabia Trims Exports to North Asia
Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, will reduce its crude allocations to its biggest Asian buyers by 560,000 b/d, Reuters reports. State-owned Saudi Aramco will reportedly reduce supplies to three Japanese and at least one South Korean buyer by up to 10%, while some Chinese buyers will also be receiving less Saudi crude. This marks the second consecutive month that Japan receives reduced Saudi volumes, however Japan's imports of Saudi crude in the first nine months of 2017 have risen by 15% compared to the same period one year ago. Furthermore, while it has cut allocations, Saudi exports are set to rebound to around 7.2M b/d in November, up 8.2% from their average levels during July-August when domestic demand was at its seasonal peak, but still much lower than their November 2016 levels of more than 8.2M b/d. The apparent rise in Saudi November exports is also facilitated by OPEC’s rising chartering activity, as according to newswires, September sailings from the Middle East rose by 30,000 b/d m-o-m to 17.26M b/d.