Driven by reduced refining runs, Saudi Arabia’s net exports of petroleum products slumped to just 445,000 b/d in January (see data, MEES, 20 March). This was the lowest figure since September 2016, when net-exports were just 425,000 b/d. Volumes were down more or less across the board, with the only exception being fuel oil, for which net imports dropped from 202,000 b/d in December to 98,000 b/d in January.
One of the most notable outcomes of Saudi Arabia’s refining capacity growth in recent years has been its switch to being a net-exporter of gasoline. This peaked last year with net gasoline exports of 89,000 b/d. However, for January, this switched to net imports of 7,000 b/d. This marked the first time since May 2018 in which the kingdom was a net importer of the fuel. Moreover, the 383,000 b/d net exports of diesel was the lowest since January 2017. (CONTINUED - 147 WORDS)