Venezuela’s crude oil exports have plummeted during the last few weeks as the country struggles to maintain uninterrupted operations in all sectors of its oil industry. Exports averaged at 1.32 million bpd in October, down from 1.66 million bpd in September. The cumulative volume of crude oil that left the country stood at 40.8 million bbls last month, almost 8 million bbls below September levels, or the equivalent of four VLCCs cargoes.
October remained a slow month for the country’s crude exports, with only 17 million bbls, or 770,000 bpd, departed by November 22nd. With less than half of the volumes of last month loaded to date, November is likely to see another drop in shipments. It is worth noting that most other OPEC members have already exported 60-70% of the total volumes seen last month so far in November.
The decline in exports comes primarily on the back of lower US and Chinese liftings. The two countries trimmed volumes in October and continue to reduce intake in November as well. The US, which imported more than 500,000 bpd in September, lifted only 390,000 bpd in October and to date has only picked up 280,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude during November. Similarly, China trimmed its allocation from 350,000 in September, to 250,000 bpd in October, while November has only seen a single shipment of 1.7 million bbls so far.