Saudi Arabia: Oil prices decline in April, but remain at near-decade highs nonetheless
The OPEC oil basket traded at USD 105.8 per barrel on average in April, down 6.8% from the prior month. Meanwhile, the price was 24.1% higher on a year-to-date basis and was 67.4% higher than on the same day last year.
Crude oil prices fell in April on rising demand headwinds and a brighter supply outlook. On the supply side, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced a second oil reserve release on 1 April, taking the total release to 240 million barrels over the past six months—a record amount. Meanwhile, OPEC+ members continued to increase production quotas in the month by 0.43 million barrels per day (mbpd). On the demand side, a Covid-19 outbreak in China and rising inflation in OECD countries led the IEA to downgrade its forecast for global oil demand in Q2 of this year. A stronger dollar and a more hawkish Fed also dragged on prospects for oil consumption.
In terms of OPEC production, combined crude oil output among members increased to 28.6 mbpd in March from 28.5 mbpd in February. This mostly reflected higher output in Saudi Arabia, with falling output in Libya and Nigeria dragging on the final reading.