Saudi oil income increased even as crude exports dropped in H1 by 20 percent

Saudi oil income increased even as crude exports dropped in H1 by 20 percent
Saudi Arabia could not ship more crude oil in the first half as it voluntarily restrained output under OPEC+ production-cut agreement. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 August 2021

Saudi oil income increased even as crude exports dropped in H1 by 20 percent

Saudi oil income increased even as crude exports dropped in H1 by 20 percent
  • Output at oil refineries averaged 2.423 million bpd during the first six months

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia could not ship more crude oil in the first half as it voluntarily restrained output under OPEC+ production-cut agreement; however, high oil prices this year helped the Kingdom to see stable income.

The Kingdom’s crude oil exports averaged 5.776 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2021, that is 19.8 percent less than 7.2 million bpd in the same period a year ago and 5.8 percent less than 6.129 million bpd in second half of 2020, according to JODI data.

Similarly, average daily crude output fell during the first six months of 2021 to 8.499 million bpd or 10.9 percent from 9.54 million bpd over the same period of 2020. The average daily rate of output also fell 4.5 percent from 8.895 million bpd in the second half of 2020.

This year, the economy has displayed stronger signs of recovery in line with global growth, leading to higher oil sales abroad and more non-oil activities at home.

Oil prices this year increased from $52 in January to $75 in July, along with steady ramping up of Saudi oil production under the OPEC+ deal. The result was an increase in oil revenues by 11 percent to SR249 billion in the first six months of the year, according to the ministry of finance data.

On the other hand, first half of 2021 saw a 17.9 percent year-on-year increase in average daily crude intake at domestic refineries, which grew to 2.356 million bpd from 1.999 million bpd in the first half of 2020 and edged up by 0.4 percent, compared to the second half of 2020.

The output at oil refineries averaged 2.423 million bpd during the first six months of 2021, which translates to an increase of 15.2 percent from the first six months of 2020 and 6.5 percent compared to the second half of 2020.

Average daily exports of oil products in the first half of this year also grew to 1.228 million bpd, up 28.5 percent and 14.3 percent from the first and second half of 2020, accordingly.

Despite the fall in crude oil exports and output this year, Saudi shipments started to see an uptick in June, and this will continue over the coming months as OPEC+ agreed to pump extra 400,000 bpd of crude into the market.

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports rose for the second consecutive month in June, their highest level since January 2021, as more countries worldwide showed improvement in economic activities with vaccines roll out.

Crude exports went up by 5.6 percent from May to 5.965 million bpd, according to Saudi official data posted on Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) website, while the Kingdom's output rose by 383,000 bpd to 8.927 million bpd in June from 8.544 million b/d in May.

The OPEC+ plan to increase output may not result in higher exports as planned with many economies are back to closing down over fears of COVID-19 variants.

Oil prices closed out their biggest week of losses in more than nine months with another down day on Friday, as investors sold futures in anticipation of weakened fuel demand worldwide due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The crude market has now posted seven consecutive days of losses. Numerous nations worldwide are responding to the rising infection rate due to the coronavirus Delta variant by adding travel restrictions to cut off the spread.

China has imposed stricter disinfection methods at ports, causing congestion, nations including Australia have ratcheted up travel restrictions, and global jet fuel demand is softening after improving for most of the summer.

Brent crude fell 8% on the week, settling down $1.27, or 1.9%, to $65.18 a barrel, its lowest since April and down about 8% for the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for September settled down $1.37, or 2.2%, to $62.32 a barrel on Friday, to lose more than 9% for the week.


John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia
Updated 6 sec ago

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia

John Kerry to attend Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia
  • Kerry will “engage with government counterparts and private sector leaders on climate crisis

LONDON: US climate envoy John Kerry will travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to take part in the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.

During his two-day visit to the Kingdom, Kerry will “engage with government counterparts and private sector leaders on efforts to address the climate crisis,” the State Department said.

Kerry’s meetings will “bolster the United States’ bilateral and multilateral climate diplomacy” ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow that starts on Oct. 31.

Saudi Arabia will host the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative Forum and Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh on Oct. 23-25.

The environmental initiatives were launched in March by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Together they aim to plant 50 billion trees in the region and reduce Middle East carbon emissions by 60 percent.


NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO
Updated 21 October 2021

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant to operate in 2026: Air Product’s CEO
  • Seifi Ghasemi noted that the project is the biggest in the world and that it is the first time for the company to handle a project with this scale, echoing a similar comment from ACWA Power CEO to Arab News. 

NEOM’s green hydrogen plant will start operations in 2026, the chief executive officer of Air Products & Chemicals revealed in an interview with Alarabiya.

The project will export hydrogen in the form of liquid ammonia to the world market for use as a biofuel that feeds transportation systems.

Seifi Ghasemi noted that the project is the biggest in the world and that it is the first time for the company to handle a project with this scale, echoing a similar comment from ACWA Power CEO to Arab News. 

This comes amid the Kingdom’s directions towards green energy. 

 


US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

US jobless claims fall; Turkey’s central bank slashes interest rate again: Economic wrap

Americans applying for jobless benefits declined to 290,000 in the week ending 16 October, compared to the previous seven day's 296,00 claims, official data showed. 

This is the lowest level since March 2020 as job hirers hold on to their employees as a result of worker shortages.

Turkish interest rate falls once more

The Turkish Central Bank decided to cut its interest rate again from 18 percent to 16 percent, despite rising inflation and a depreciating currency. 

This decision came after the president renewed calls to alleviate borrowing costs to promote economic growth. Economists considered this confirmation of the bank's loss of independence as the president sacked the last three central bank governors.

South Korea's exports

Based on data released by its customs agency, South Korea's exports jumped in the first 20 days of October by 36.1 percent compared to a year earlier, while imports soared by 48 percent, causing a provisional trade deficit of $2.49 billion.

Exports rose the most for petroleum products and vessels as they leapt by 128.7 percent and 93.5 percent respectively.

The data showed that exports to China, the United States and the European Union increased during this period by 30.9, 37.1 and 42.1 percent respectively.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s recovery at risk 

The IMF said that the weak vaccination rollouts in sub-Saharan Africa could setback the region’s economic recovery in the coming period.

While higher commodity prices and favorable harvests were beneficial for some countries, the overall outlook is pessimistic as the region is likely to considerably lag behind developed countries.

The international organization expects sub-Saharan economic growth to be 3.7 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022. 

Russia’s producer prices

Russian producer prices went up by a 26.3 percent annual rate in September, official data revealed. This is the lowest level since March and was mainly driven by a 41.4 percent surge in costs of raw materials extraction and a 25.4 percent jump in manufacturing costs.

China’s investments abroad

China's non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) grew by 2.4 percent in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period last year to reach $80.78 billion, the commerce ministry said.

Ukraine’s interest rate 

The Central Bank of Ukraine kept the interest rate on hold at 8.5 percent. However, the bank said there was a possible chance to increase the rate in December if needed to manage rising inflationary pressures.


TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.3 percent higher at 11,940 points: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All-Share Index was up 35 points on Thursday, or 0.3 percent, closing at 11,939,58 points.

Some 202.4 million of shares changed hands in 305,000 deals.

Al Rajhi Bank, SABIC and Saudi Aramco rose by 1 percent.

Baazeem was the top gainer, rising 5.6 percent, to SR124.80, with about 2.2 million shares traded.

Sulaiman Al Habib jumped 5.2 percent, to SR178.20.

Alinma Bank, Arab Sea, Sipchem and Saudi National Bank recorded their highest closings since the listing.

The parallel market index “Nomu” decreased by 719.49 points, or 2.94 percent, and closed at 23730.47 points. The liquidity amounted to about SR15.6 million.

Makkah Construction declined 1.9 percent to SR77.10. In Q3 2021, the company recorded a net profit of SR12 million.

NADEC and National Gypsum closed at SR34.95 and SR46.80, respectively.


Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap
Updated 21 October 2021

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

Cryptocurrencies benefit from Bitcoin's gains: Crypto wrap

RIYADH: Leading cryptocurrencies have mirrored Bitcoin’s gains with strong performances in the past 24 hours.

Ethereum and Solana are up more than 10 percent, after Bitcoin surged above $66,000 on Wednesday.

Edan Yago, the lead contributor to the Bitcoin DeFi protocol Sovryn, said: “As big as Bitcoin is now, it’s a mere fraction of what it will be.

“An entire borderless economy will be powered by sound money. An economy far larger than our current global economy. Why? Bitcoin finally brings property rights and economic access to billions of people.”

 Ruud Feltkamp, CEO of cloud-based automated crypto trading bot Cryptohopper predicted that Bitcoin’s value will continue to grow.

“As expected, Bitcoin reached its all time high. It’s expected that the long volatile route to the top starts now, where I expect Bitcoin’s peak around Christmas. We often see that when Bitcoin makes a move, the altcoins follow in the two weeks after, which could explain the latest surge in Ethereum and Solana,” he said.

Trading
 

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency in trading internationally, traded lower on Thursday, falling by 0.55 percent to $65,286 at 4:49 pm Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, traded at $4,251 up 6.74 percent, according to data from Coindesk.