Dubai — Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports plunged to a nine-year low in May as the historic OPEC+ cuts began, according to data released July 16 by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.
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Shipments dropped to 6.02 million b/d, the lowest since October 2010, from a record 10.237 million b/d just a month earlier. The 23-country OPEC+ coalition enacted a 9.7 million b/d production cut accord starting in May in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The drop in exports came as the kingdom's output declined to 8.486 million b/d, the lowest since December 2010, from the all-time high of 12.07 million b/d in April. The kingdom still managed to boost crude stockpiles to 147.561 million barrels from a 16-year low of 143.502 million barrels a month earlier.
OPEC and its allies will ease their record production cuts on schedule in August after they helped pushed oil prices back above $40/b from historic lows in April, ministers said July 15, confident that recovering global demand will soak up the additional supply.
The kingdom's oil product exports climbed to 1.456 million b/d, a 14-month high, from 1.098 million b/d in April.
Oil products include LPG, naphtha, motor and aviation gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil. The amount of crude processed by the kingdom's own refineries in May advanced to 1.929 million from 1.84 million b/d in April, the JODI data showed.
Saudi Arabia's direct use of crude burned for power generation climbed to a seven-month high of 407,000 b/d in May from 355,000 b/d in April.
Combining the exports, refinery intake and direct-use figures indicates Saudi Arabia supplied 8.356 million b/d to the market in May, down from 12.432 million b/d to the market in April.
The JODI database is maintained by the Riyadh-based International Energy Forum.