March oil exports of KSA highest in over 9 years

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Updated 18 May 2015

March oil exports of KSA highest in over 9 years

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s crude exports rose in March to their highest in almost a decade, official data showed, a sign of unexpectedly strong global demand as the Kingdom revved up its output to the loftiest rate on record.

Saudi Arabia shipped 7.898 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March, up from 7.350 million bpd in February and 7.474 million bpd in January, figures supplied by Riyadh to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed.
That was the highest level since November 2005, when the Kingdom shipped 7.962 million bpd, according to JODI, an international body set up to promote transparency in oil markets.
Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi has said Saudi Arabia produced some 10.3 million bpd of crude in March, highlighting the strength of global demand, which has helped lift refinery profit margins to their highest in years.
The increase underlined Saudi Arabia’s determination not to cede market share to higher-cost producers, such as US shale drillers. The Kingdom and others in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have resisted cutting production to shore up oil prices.
Saudi Arabia burns more crude to generate power for air-conditioning heading into summer. It has also been feeding more crude to domestic refineries as it expands oil product exports.
It burnt 351,000 bpd in March, up from 315,000 bpd in February, and domestic refiners processed 1.909 million bpd, down from 2.084 million bpd of crude a month earlier, the JODI data showed.
Saudi Arabia raised its crude production in April to a record high, pumping 10.308 million bpd, a Gulf industry source told Reuters last week.
That eclipsed its previous recent peak of 10.2 million bpd in August 2013, according to records going back to the early 1980s.
April export figures have not yet been published by JODI.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.