Saudi Arabia's oil-export revenues plunged $11 billion in the first quarter as crude prices tanked

Tom Stoddart Archive/Getty
  • Saudi Arabia’s oil exports dropped by $US11 billion in the first three months of 2020, the kingdom’s statistics agency said this week.
  • Revenue from oil exports declined by 21.9% year-on-year to $US40 billion, slashing total revenue from merchandise exports down 20.7% to $US53 billion.
  • China, Japan, and India were Saudi Arabia’s top three export partners in the first quarter.
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Saudi Arabia’s revenue from oil exports tanked 21.9% or about $US11 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to official data released by the country’s statistics agency.

The General Authority for Statistics said the sharp decline fuelled a 20.7% year-on-year drop in the kingdom’s total revenue from merchandise exports to $US53 billion. The drop in exports reflected depressed oil prices last quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic hammered demand for fuel.

Saudi Arabia and Russia also waged an oil-price war for several weeks that only ended in April after OPEC and its allies agreed to cut crude production by 10%. Lower prices contributed to oil exports making up 75.8% of Saudi Arabia’s total exports last quarter, down from 77% a year earlier.

The global downturn didn’t just weigh on Saudi Arabia’s oil exports. Its revenue from non-oil exports, such as plastics and chemicals, fell by 16.5% in the first three months of the year.

Saudi Arabia’s main trading partner was China last quarter, as the world’s second-largest economy bought about $US9 billion worth of its exports. Japan and India were its next two biggest buyers, buying $US5.3 billion and $US5.2 billion of its exports respectively.

The dramatic decline in Saudi Arabia’s oil exports can be seen in the statistics agency’s chart below:

Screenshot 2020 06 08 at 3.11.06 PMGeneral Authority for Statistics


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