Asia’s weakening economies, record supply threaten to create oil glut


By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil traders’ worries over record supplies arriving in Asia just as the outlook for its key growth economies weakens have pulled down global crude benchmarks by a quarter since early October.

Ship-tracking data shows a record of more than 22 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil hitting Asia’s main markets in November, up around 15 percent since January 2017, and an increase of nearly 5 percent since the start of this year.

(Seaborne oil supply to Asia:

Much of this oil was ordered ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran that were imposed this month, as refiners prepared for a sudden drop in supply.

But with unexpectedly broad exemptions granted by Washington that allow Asia’s main oil consumers to continue buying crude from Iran, the overall supply drop has not materialized.

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