The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce shipments through October as refiner demand drops in the northern hemisphere in autumn, according to tanker tracker Oil Movements.

OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, will curb shipments by 400,000 barrels a day, or 1.7 percent, to 23.73 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Oct. 26, the researcher said today in a report. That compares with 24.13 million in the period to Sept. 28. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.

“We’re heading toward a seasonal low point,” Roy Mason, the company’s founder, said.  “It’s the point at which western demand hits rock bottom and eastern demand hasn’t yet made up for it.”

Refinery processing rates typically decline at the end of the third quarter as plants perform maintenance before preparing to meet higher demand for heating fuel during the northern hemisphere winter. Brent crude was at $111.36 a barrel as of 4:16 p.m. Friday on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, having advanced 6.1 percent in the third quarter.

Middle Eastern shipments will fall 2.2 percent to 17.38 million barrels a day in the month to Oct. 26, versus 17.77 million in the previous period, according to Oil Movements. Those figures include non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.

Crude on board tankers will increase 2.3 percent to 488.63 million barrels on Oct. 26, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings, and excludes crude held on vessels for storage.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. It will next meet in Vienna on Dec. 4.


Information from Business Day was used in this report.