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Saudi Arabia’s Crude Exports Fall to 9-Month Low in March

Saudi Arabia’s Crude Exports Fall to 9-Month Low in March

Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 - 10:15
Engineers work at a Saudi Aramco facility, Saudi Arabia. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia's March crude oil exports fell to the lowest level since June 2020, while output dipped, as a result of voluntary production cuts and commitment to the OPEC + agreement, official data showed on Monday.

In March, Saudi Arabia voluntarily committed to reducing oil production by 1 million barrels per day (bpd), in addition to the OPEC + agreement to reduce oil production.

Total crude exports fell to 5.427 million bpd from 5.625 million bpd in February, while crude output was at 8.138 million bpd in March versus 8.147 million bpd the previous month, data showed.

Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI), published on its website.

The Kingdom, the world's top crude oil exporter, started easing supply cuts to buyers in May as OPEC+ stuck to plans for a phased roll-back of oil production restrictions from May to July.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose Monday after concerns about supplies receded to support the recovery of a major US pipeline network, but it was affected by the imposition of new restrictions in Asia amid a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Gasoline shortages that have plagued the US East Coast slowly eased on Sunday, with 1,000 more stations receiving supplies as the country's largest fuel pipeline network recovered from a crippling cyberattack.

Brent crude ended the session up 0.8 percent at $68.98 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled 0.9 percent higher at $66.00.

Both benchmarks marked a 2.5 percent jump on Friday and managed to slightly increase in the past week, for the third consecutive week.

Investors fear the fast-spreading strain of the new coronavirus, first discovered in India, is spreading to other countries.

On Sunday, some Indian states said they would extend lockdown measures linked to COVID-19 to help contain the pandemic that has killed more than 270,000 people in the country.

Singapore warned that new coronavirus variants are affecting more children than past strains, as the state prepares to shut most schools from this week.

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