Saudi Arabia Macroeconomic Developments
- Saudi ports saw an 8.3 percent YoY increase in the number of containers handled during April, reaching 609,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) according to the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani). The number of transshipment containers rose 52 percent, or more than 263,000 TEUs. Total cargo tonnage handled at Saudi ports rose 25 percent YoY to reach 23 million tons via 1,102 vessels during April.
- OPEC lowered its forecast of non-OPEC production for 2021 by 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to the impact of U.S. well shutdowns during the winter ice storm. OPEC kept its 2021 demand forecast at 96.45 million bpd, a 5.95 million bpd increase from 2020. The group expects demand for OPEC crude to rise from 26.48 million bpd in Q2 to 29.54 million bpd in Q4 this year.
- Saudi Arabia resumes international travel on May 17 for the first time in more than a year. Vaccinated Saudi citizens will be permitted to travel and are required to present their health status using the government’s Tawakkalna health app. Foreigners from 20 countries, including the U.S., will remain exempt from travelling to the Kingdom.