Saudi Arabia’s receipts from oil sales abroad fell for a sixth straight month but still capped a year that saw the kingdom rack up the highest annual income during Mohammed bin Salman’s time as crown prince and de facto ruler.
The second-biggest windfall in Saudi history gives the crown prince more cash to power his drive to diversify and open up the economy of the world’s largest crude exporter. Saudi officials have repeatedly said the kingdom wants to use its energy windfall to accelerate projects that contribute to weaning it off a reliance on oil.
With crude prices ending last year near $80 per barrel after earlier skyrocketing into triple digits, Saudi Arabia fetched 85.5 billion riyals ($22.8 billion) in December from exporting crude and refined products, according to data from the kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics.
Though the monthly proceeds were the lowest in nearly a year, oil revenues for 2022 reached nearly $326 billion, swinging the Saudi budget to surplus for the first time in almost a decade. The annual record for oil revenues came in 2012.
With the cost of commodities rising sharply after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Saudi economy grew an estimated 8.7% last year, the fastest among the Group of 20.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.