TOKYO, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in August to at least two Japanese lifters, steady from July levels, sources said on Friday.
“We got it fully contracted, the same as July,” a source with a Japanese lifter said.
Traders are now looking for signs of incremental volumes after the kingdom pledged it would boost production to 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, its highest in more than 30 years, and said it would pump even more if the market needed it.
The two Japanese lifters did not request additional volumes on top of their contracts, nor were offered extra supplies from state-owned Saudi Aramco, the sources said.
Asian customers have been receiving mostly full contracted volumes since last November.
In its July allocations, Saudi Arabia sold additional crude to India’s Reliance Industries, which took 30 percent of the additional crude the Saudis will pump for July.
No other lifters were heard buying extra barrels from the Saudis at that time.
Saudi Arabia is the only member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — supplier of more than a third of the world’s oil — with capacity to boost output quickly and significantly.
OPEC has repeatedly declined calls from consumer nations for more output, even as oil rose to a record over $145 last week, saying high prices have nothing to do with a shortage of supply.
OPEC’s next scheduled meeting to decide on output policy is on Sept. 9.
Oil prices have jumped over 45 percent this year on supply struggling to keep pace with rising consumption in emerging countries like China, rising cash flows from investors seeking to hedge against inflation, the weak dollar and growing tensions between Iran and Israel.