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OPEC’s oil exports plunged by US$240b in 2020

Petroleum exports of OPEC members plunged by over US$240 billion (about RM1 trillion) last year due to a collapse in demand and prices in the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its Annual Statistical Bulletin released on Sept 30, the cartel said the value of its total petroleum exports dropped to US$321 billion in 2020, compared with US$562 billion in 2019.

It said that last year, oil demand slumped in the pandemic, along with oil prices, exacerbated by the fact that OPEC and its key partner Russia in the OPEC+ deal failed in March 2020 to agree on how to react to the decline in consumption with the lockdowns and travel restrictions worldwide.

The OPEC Reference Basket averaged US$41.47 a barrel in nominal terms during 2020, down from US$64.04 per barrel in 2019, which was a massive decrease of US$22.57 a barrel, or 35.2%, OPEC said.

The volatility level was US$12.55 a barrel, or 30.3%, relative to the yearly average.

As a result, the value of OPEC’s oil exports — the main, and in many cases indispensable, part of OPEC members’ government revenues — drastically fell last year compared to 2019.

The value of petroleum exports of OPEC’s top producer Saudi Arabia nearly halved, according to OPEC’s bulletin.

Last year, the value of Saudi oil exports stood at US$119 billion, down from US$200 billion in 2019.

As in the past, most of OPEC’s crude oil — 73.2% of exports — went to Asia, particularly China and India.
Source: The Edge Markets

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