Saudi Arabia lost market share in more than half of the most important countries it sold crude to in the past three years, even as the kingdom increased output to record levels. The world’s biggest oil exporter lost ground to rivals in nine out of 15 top markets between 2013 and 2015, including China, South Africa and the US, according to an analysis of customs data.
Saudi Arabia set itself a goal in late 2014 of maintaining its crude market share amid a glut that prompted a collapse in oil prices, but the imports data compiled by FGE, an energy consultancy, suggest the country’s strategy suffered setbacks in some of its key customer countries last year. Other data show that Saudi Arabia achieved a limited increase in global market share in 2015 compared to 2014, although last year’s figure was lower than that recorded in 2013.
“Saudi Arabia has had a very difficult time selling oil in this environment,” says Ed Morse, an analyst at Citigroup. “Its rivals are going into a very crowded market in a very aggressive way.” Read more