Saudi Arabia crude exports rebound in July from historic lows

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rebounded in July to 5.73 million barrels per day (bpd) from a record low in June, official data showed on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker is being loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

At 4.98 million bpd, crude exports in June were the weakest on record, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) stretching back to 2002.

Output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose by more than 1 million bpd in July as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members ended voluntary supply cuts, on top of an OPEC-led deal to curb production.

(Graphic: Saudi Arabia's July crude oil exports recover from record low - )

An easing of lockdowns and lower supply helped benchmark Brent crude hold above $40 a barrel throughout July after plunging to a 21-year low of $15.98 in April, though gains were kept in check by fears of a second wave of COVID-19.

OPEC+ has been reducing output by 7.7 million bpd, or about 8% of global demand, but the group is unlikely to announce further curbs in its virtual meeting later on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia’s crude production rose 13.3% month-on-month in July to 8.48 million bpd, its lowest since December 2002.

Saudi’s domestic crude refinery throughput fell 13.2% to 2.09 million bpd in July, while direct crude burn rose by 176,000 bpd to 645,000 bpd.

Saudi total oil product demand in July rose by 219,000 bpd to 2.38 million bpd, data on the JODI website showed.

Meanwhile, the world’s top oil exporter cut its October official selling price for the Arab Light crude it sells to Asia by the most since May.

Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI), which publishes them on its website.

Reporting by Sumita Layek and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and David Clarke