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Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports inch up in October

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Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose to 6.159 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, up by nearly 100,000 bpd from the 6.066 million bpd exports in September, data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Thursday.

Total oil exports from Saudi Arabia, including crude oil and total oil products, increased again month over month by 281,000 bpd to 7.38 million bpd in October, according to the JODI database, which collects self-reported figures from 114 countries.

In September, the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, exported more than 6 million bpd for the first time since May 2020, after seeing demand pick up, especially in Asia, and before the second coronavirus wave slammed the brakes on oil demand recovery in Europe.

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In June, Saudi Arabia saw its crude oil exports drop to their lowest on record at just below 5 million bpd, as OPEC’s de facto leader led efforts from the OPEC+ group to withhold a record amount of crude from the market in response to the crash in demand.

Crude oil exports from the Kingdom has gradually increased since June, but not by much, the JODI database shows.

Saudi Arabia kept its crude oil exports at just above the 6 million bpd mark in September and October, bound by the OPEC+ pact and facing uncertain demand recovery.

In recent weeks, however, signs have emerged that demand in Asia is strong , while oil price benchmarks have strengthened after the progress in vaccine development and the start of vaccinations.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia raised the official selling price of its flagship Arab Light  crude grade going to Asia in January by the most in five months, and more than the average expectations for a rise in prices in a Reuters survey. The Saudis lifted the price of Arab Light for Asia by $0.80 per barrel to $0.30 above the Dubai/Oman benchmark, compared to an average expectation for a $0.65 per barrel increase.

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