March 9, 2017 / 2:30 AM / in 4 months

UPDATE 1-Saudi to supply full crude contract volumes to Asia

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TOKYO, March 9 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco will supply full contract volumes of crude oil to multiple Asian buyers in April, three industry sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Despite commitments to cut production in an OPEC deal, Saudi Aramco had agreed to supply at least one customer in Asia with incremental crude on top of contracted volumes next month, as it holds to a strategy of maintaining market share in the fastest-growing market, one of the sources said.

Saudi Arabia led a pact between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers, including Russia, Mexico and Kazakhstan, to cut global crude output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1, and bring supply closer to demand.

The kingdom had cut beyond the level pledged in the agreement and brought its output below 10 million bpd, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Tuesday. Suppliers participating in the curbs have cut more than 1.5 million bpd, he said, exceeding what he called the market's low expectations.

While supplies to Asia have been little changed, Saudi Aramco has been cutting supplies to some major oil companies in Europe and the United States, industry sources have said. Nearly half of Saudi's crude production is exported to Asia. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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