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Saudi Crude Oil Exports Rose To 9-Month High in March

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude oil exporter, saw its crude shipments rise in March to the highest level in 9 months, the latest data by the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.     

Saudi crude exports rose by 96,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March compared to February, to hit 6.413 million bpd, according to the JODI data which compiles self-reported figures from the individual countries.

The rise in exports in March was the second consecutive monthly increase in Saudi crude shipments this year.

Last month, JODI data showed that global oil demand jumped by 1.2 million bpd in February from January, hitting a five-year seasonal high, with seasonal-high demand for gasoline and an all-time high oil demand in India.

In the statistics released today, data showed that Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production fell slightly by 38,000 bpd from February to an average of 8.97 million bpd in March. Refinery runs in the Kingdom also declined, by 6.3% year-over-year.

Saudi direct burn of crude dropped by 53,000 month-on-month and was near the five-year average level in March, according to the data reported to JODI.

Globally, oil demand rose by 1.3 million bpd in March, led by China, according to the JODI figures. However, oil demand was marginally down year-over-year in March.

Meanwhile, crude oil production was down by 1.5 million bpd in March compared to the same month last year, while NGL production was at a seasonal high, JODI’s data showed.

The lower global crude production is mainly due to the ongoing production cuts by the OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and its 1-million-bpd extra voluntary output reduction.

The OPEC+ alliance is meeting on June 1 to decide how to proceed with the cuts in the second half of the year.

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Global crude oil inventories fell by 24.3 million barrels in March, while product inventories went up by 400,000 barrels, the data in JODI’s database showed.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 20 2024 said:
    Saudi Arabia's oil data in March 2024 were: Production 8.97 mbd, exports 6.413 mbd according to JODI and 3.6 mbd according to other data sources.

    If this is the case, then Saudi Arabia couldn't have exported 6.413 mbd based on both its aforementioned production and consumption. Its exports should be 5.37 mbd unless it withdrew 1.043 mbd from its oil inventory to make up the figure of 6.413.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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