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.


Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap
Updated 20 October 2021

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

Oil prices, government spending see TASI hit highest level since 2006: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index increased on Wednesday by 0.94 percent, or 111.2 points.

Oil prices and the announcement of $2 trillion in government spending contributed to the rise in stocks.

TASI liquidity today amounted to about SR7.2 billion, while 189.8 million shares were traded, in 313,000 deals. 

National Gypsum Co. (NGC) topped the list of companies trading above three month average at 344, followed by Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sepchem) at 295.

The petrochemical producer posted a net profit of SR1.029 billion for the third quarter of 2021, the highest profit since inception.

Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market index, Nomu, gained 81.7 points, or 0.34 percent, closing at 24,449.96 points. 

The biggest risers today were, Al-Rajhi Bank which records the highest level since 2006 to close at SR141.2, up 1.6 percent, and SABIC shares by 2 percent at SR133.6.

Among other shares that rose were NCB by 0.6 percent, and Riyad Bank by 4.4 percent.


Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

Saudi markets surge as M&A activity set to continue until mid-2022: General Authority for Competition

RIYADH: The Saudi market saw mergers and acquisitions jump 68 percent to 237 applications in the first nine months of the year — led by the IT, healthcare and petrochemical sectors according to a Saudi expert.

The General Authority for Competition head of mergers and acquisitions Talal Alhogail said the year-on-year comparison shows that it has been an exceptional period for business as it recovers from the pandemic, reported Asharq.

He added he expects the high rate to continue into the middle of 2022.


IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations
Updated 20 October 2021

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

IMF has most favorable outlook for the Saudi economy in 2021 compared to other organizations

The International Monetary Fund expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2021 — higher than forecasts by other global and local institutions.

In its latest regional economic outlook, the international organization said that oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia are expected to expand their production after August 2021. 

In addition, strong vaccination campaigns and higher oil prices are projected to boost the non-oil sector of the Kingdom’s economy, prompting an expansion in economic activity.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance expects the Saudi economy to grow by 2.4 percent in 2021, in line with the World Bank's predictions. 

Capital Economics and OECD also had similar forecasts for 2021. 

Jadwa, on the other hand, had the lowest expected rise in output, predicting a 1.8 percent growth rate only despite raising it from the previous 1.3 percent forecast.

As for the 2022 outlook, Capital Economics had the most positive forecast for the Saudi economy, saying it would jump by 7.3 percent. 

The Ministry of Finance posted its projection for 2022 growth at 4.8 percent. The IMF and OECD had the same expectation as well.

Moreover, the World Bank prediction was a slightly higher 4.9 percent. Jadwa also had a similar forecast for Saudi growth at 5.1 percent.


Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency
Updated 20 October 2021

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin rises to new record high in 'validating' moment for cryptocurrency

Bitcoin hit a new record on Wednesday after it took another step towards mainstream status as the world's biggest cryptocurrency forayed onto Wall Street.

A Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), a type of financial instrument, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose nearly five percent in its first day of trading on Tuesday.

The fund should be a more accessible vehicle for mainstream investors, and could therefore boost trading in the cryptocurrency.

At one point on Wednesday, Bitcoin hit surged past $66,000 before receding. 

“It’s a validating moment,” said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. “It’s no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist, I think that is a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class.”

More than 24 million shares in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — trading under the ticker BITO, changed hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With turnover of almost $1 billion, BITO’s debut was behind only a BlackRock carbon fund for a first day of trading, the latter ranking higher due to pre-seed investments, according to Athanasios Psarofagis at Bloomberg Intelligence.

The Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, explained why the regulator gave the green light to the Bitcoin futures ETF ETF but not a spot bitcoin ETF.

In an interview with CNBC Gary Gensler reiterated that his agency “should be technology neutral, but not policy neutral.”

"What we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter," he said

“Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that’s been four years.” 


SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative
Updated 14 min 55 sec ago

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

SABB, Green Horizons to plant 10,000 trees to support Saudi Green Initiative

RIYADH: Saudi British Bank (SABB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Green Horizons Environmental Association to carry on environmental activities to support Saudi Green Initiative starting with implementing a national park in Thadiq, Riyadh region, with the participation of SABB’s employees, as part of planting 10,000 trees, according to a statement.

Tony Cripps, Managing Director of SABB added: “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Kingdom’s pioneering role towards addressing environmental issues such as climate change. We at SABB, under our new 2025 Strategy, are also working towards developing ESG initiatives that speak towards Vision 2030 environmental objectives.”