Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the world's largest top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has reportedly reduced crude supplies to some Asian buyers in March. According to international media reports, the drop in supplies also comes after state oil giant Saudi Aramco cut March official selling prices (OSPs) more than expected. Buyers overall nominations for March-loading cargoes were also lower, however, the deadly virus has not had a big impact, although seasonal maintenance in Asia in the second quarter had made more difference.
According to reports, the authorities have also declined to say how much lower the volumes were at their refineries, but they also said that Saudi Aramco may have allowed some Chinese buyers to reduce their volumes by more than ten per cent as their situation was an exceptional case. Several China's refiners including Sinopec Corp, PetroChina, China National Offshore Oil Company have also cut their crude processing rate in February.
The outbreak which took place in Wuhan in January has now killed hundreds of people. The death toll for the virus in China has also reportedly jumped to nearly 1,100 with another 1,638 new confirmed cases. The total number of confirmed cases across China are now more than 44,200. Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the viral outbreak, has also reported 94 new deaths.
The World Health Organisation has reportedly said that China's Coronavirus outbreak is a 'very grave threat for the rest of the world' and should also be viewed by other nations as 'public enemy number 1'. The virus officially also named 'COVID-19' at the conference in Geneva held by WHO, where the body's chief further said that countries had a chance of stopping its global spread. Earlier this month, WHO also declared the Coronavirus as a 'global public health emergency'.
The WHO chief on Tuesday said that the first vaccine aimed at combating China's deadly new Coronavirus could be available in 18 months. The WHO chief also added that until a vaccine is developed the countries around the world must combat the virus with everything that is available to them today.