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Imports of Saudi crude spiked by 298,000 b/d from March to 1.28 million b/d in April, with volumes surging by 391,000 b/d from April 2021, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti). Saudi official formula prices for March loading crude exports to Asia were announced in early February at levels that many in the market saw as within expectations. Some even saw them as relatively restrained. These levels came on the heels of three months of higher-than-expected formula prices for medium and heavy crude. Like their Chinese counterparts, Japanese refiners were likely prompted by these reasonable formula prices to ask for higher Saudi crude volumes for March-loading cargoes, most of which would have arrived at Japanese ports in April. Japan received 45,000 b/d more Arab Medium and Arab Heavy crudes in April compared to March, a jump of 28%. Total volumes hit 206,000 b/d in April.

Oil Demand, Crude Oil, Oil Supply
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