- Saudi Arabia's oil exports hit their highest since 2016 in the first quarter of this year.
- The figure showed a 90.3% jump compared to the same quarter in 2021.
- It reflects both an increase in production and a stronger oil price because of sanctions on Russian energy.
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Saudi Arabia's oil exports reached a 2016 high of $30 billion in March, the General Authority for Statistics announced on Wednesday.
Oil exports hit about $35 billion in the first quarter of 2022, jumping by 90.3% compared to the same quarter of 2021.
The increase reflects a surge in crude oil prices along with ramped-up production, triggered by Western sanctions against Russia after it launched an invasion of Ukraine.
In April, Saudi Arabia produced 10.346 million barrels per day, according to the OPEC monthly oil market report released on May 12.
State-owned energy company Saudi Aramco reported in May an 82% jump in profits in its first quarter to $39.5 billion.
According to the results, the share of oil exports against total exports, which include refined products such as gasoline and diesel, rose to 78.3% in the first quarter of 2022 from 71.1% in the first quarter of last year, reflecting the increased demand for crude among buyers seeking an alternative to Russian supply.
The statistics authority said its main export destination, including non-oil exports, was China, which accounted for 16.8% of total exports in the first quarter.
India and Japan followed, making up 11.5% and 10.5% of total exports, respectively.
With its fastest economic growth in more than a decade, the International Monetary Fund has estimated that the Saudi economy will hit $1 trillion this year for the first time in history.
As the oil price trades above $100 a barrel and the cost of key transportation fuels soars, heaping pressure on consumers around the world, the kingdom's stance on oil production however has been clear. The country's foreign minister said this week that it won't take further action to calm markets by increasing supply.