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CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s refining output fell slightly to 2.88 million barrels per day in May from 2.89 mbpd in April, even as petroleum product exports rose 3.7% , rising from 1.47 mbpd in April to 1.53 mbpd in May, the Joint Organizations Data Initiative revealed.

Gas or diesel, which accounts for nearly 42% and is the main contributor to refinery oil production, saw a 4.3% drop in monthly output after two months of growth in March and April. It went from 1.26 mbd in April to 1.20 mbd in May, against an annual growth of 13.9%.

Motor and aviation gasoline, the second largest contributor to refinery oil output, fell from 8.8% growth in March to 1.22% growth in April, reaching a negative increase of 0.45% in May. In absolute terms, it fell by 3,000 bpd to 661,000 bpd in May, but showed a 22.9% annual increase from May 2021.

Monthly fuel oil production rose 0.6%, a slight increase from its 3% rise in April, but a recovery from its 4.9% fall in March 2022. It rose from 515,000 bpd in April to 518,000 bpd in May. Moreover, it jumped 26.3% this year. Fuel oil is essential as it accounts for 18% of total refinery oil production.

Additionally, kerosene, which includes the type of jet fuel, recorded a monthly increase of 27.4% in May 2022, while naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas fell by 0.8% and 14.5%, respectively, during the same period. “Other” petroleum products rose 10.2% month over month in May, adding another 13,000 bpd.

Refinery Oil Exports

Refinery oil exports rose 18.7% to 1.53 mbpd in May. Gas or diesel – the largest contributor at 45.6% of total refined oil exports – posted growth of 6.6% or 43,000 bpd to 696,000 bpd in May, after two consecutive months of declining exports of diesel. Likewise, it presented an annual growth of 9.4% compared to May last year.

Moving on to motor and aviation gasoline, although it was down 3.7% or the equivalent of 12,000 bpd to 311,000 bpd, it showed a positive trend from February to April.

On top of that, motor and aviation gasoline – which constitutes 20.4% of total exports – jumped 72.8% annual growth.

The third-largest exported petroleum product is fuel oil, which saw no monthly growth but rose 8.4% over the past year.

Naphtha, which accounts for 9.3% of exports, rose 40.6% from last month.

Another type of petroleum product that accounts for a small percentage of exports is kerosene, whose exports fell 9.8% month-on-month from April.

Closing inventory

Moving on to the closing stock of the Kingdom, all petroleum products saw a significant drop in their stocks.

Total petroleum products fell 5.6 million barrels in April to 91.3 million barrels in May, the lowest inventory level since November 2020.

The drop in total inventories is explained by a decrease of 2.7 million barrels in gas or diesel supplies, which fell from 33.3 million barrels in April to 30.6 million barrels in May.

Similarly, motor and aviation gasoline fell from 31.7 million barrels in April to 30.5 million barrels the following month.

Fuel oil suffered the same fate, reducing inventories by 1.8 million barrels from 8.6 million in April to 7.1 million barrels in May.


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