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The value of petroleum exports of OPEC members plummeted by over $240 billion last year due to the collapse in demand and prices in the pandemic, figures from the cartel’s Annual Statistical Bulletin showed on Thursday.
The value of OPEC’s total petroleum exports plunged to $321 billion in 2020, compared to $562 billion in 2019, according to the data released today.
Last year, oil demand slumped in the pandemic, and so did oil prices, exacerbated by the fact that OPEC and its key partner in the OPEC+ deal, Russia, failed in March 2020 to agree on how to react to the decline in consumption with the lockdowns and travel restrictions worldwide.
When OPEC and the Russia-led non-OPEC members of the OPEC+ pact reached an agreement, they significantly curtailed supply to the market, which further weighed on the value of petroleum exports even when oil prices started to recover from the April 2020 lows.
The OPEC Reference Basket averaged $41.47 a barrel in nominal terms during 2020, down from $64.04 per barrel in 2019, which was a massive decrease of $22.57 a barrel, or 35.2 percent, OPEC said in its Annual Statistical Bulletin. The volatility level was $12.55 a barrel, or 30.3 percent, relative to the yearly average.
As a result, the value of OPEC’s oil exports—the main, and in many cases indispensable, part of OPEC members’ government revenues—drastically fell last year compared to 2019.
The value of petroleum exports of OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, nearly halved, according to OPEC’s bulletin. Last year, the value of Saudi oil exports stood at $119 billion, down from $200 billion in 2019.
Crude oil export volumes also slumped—to an average of 19.70 million bpd in 2020, a sharp decrease of 12.4 percent compared to 2019. This was the fourth consecutive annual decline in OPEC’s crude oil exports, the cartel said.
As in previous years, most of OPEC’s crude oil—73.2 percent of exports—went to Asia, particularly China and India.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.