The total Saudi oil exports, including crude oil and petroleum products, averaged 8.339 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, down from an average 9.344 million bpd in total oil exports in 2018, according to JODI data quoted by Mubasher.
According to the data released by the JODI database, which collects self-reported figures from 114 countries, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports in December remained unchanged month on month at 7.37 million bpd.
Throughout 2019, Saudi crude oil exports did not exceed 7.4 million bpd in any month, JODI’s data showed.
In September, Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports dipped to a 22-month low of 6.67 million bpd, when the Kingdom was hit by attacks on its oil infrastructure that knocked 5 percent of global daily supply offline for weeks.
Throughout last year, the Saudis exported less crude than in 2018 and less than in the 2014-2018 average as the Kingdom was trying to reduce supply to the most transparently reported inventories in the US, while keeping—and where possible boosting—market share in Asia.
So far into 2020, Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers in the Middle East are grappling with the ‘black swan’ oil demand slump in China due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The slowdown in China’s industrial activity is causing the worst shock to oil demand in over a decade, Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview on Bloomberg earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia reacted to the depressed demand in Asia by slashing its official selling prices (OSPs) to the region for March.
Saudi Arabia-led OPEC is pushing for additional production cuts in Q2 in response to the depressed demand, but its key partner in the deal, Russia, has not come up yet with an official position on whether it would support deeper cuts.