Amid a sluggish recovery in energy markets, Saudi Arabia’s revenue from oil sales abroad declined by more than a third, reaching the lowest point since September 2021.
In May, the kingdom’s oil exports amounted to just over $19 billion, including both crude and refined products, as per data from the General Authority for Statistics. Consequently, the share of oil sales in total exports dropped to 74% from nearly 81% compared to the same period a year ago.
As the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia had experienced a significant windfall from higher crude prices and production in 2022. However, this year, the kingdom decided to prolong production cuts initiated earlier in 2023 to boost prices by restricting supply, amid ongoing concerns about the global economy.
While crude oil prices have recently seen gains due to the impact of production cuts, they remain restrained by worries that higher interest rates could hinder economic activity in the US and Europe. In May, Brent prices averaged around $75 per barrel and stood at $82.61 on Tuesday.
Regarding the non-oil sector, which is the focus of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to transform the economy, exports experienced a year-on-year decline of nearly 9% in May, amounting to 25 billion riyals ($6.7 billion).