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IMF Boost to Saudi Break-Even Oil Price Offers OPEC Policy Clues

  • IMF raises 2018 oil price needed by Saudis by 26% to $88
  • Saudi rulers need price to cover economic change: RBC
A view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

A view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Photographer: Waseem Obaidi
Updated on

Whenever Saudi Arabian officials are asked what oil price the kingdom want, they almost always reply that they have no preference. Recent reports that the world’s largest exporter was aiming for $80 a barrel elicited the same response: there’s no target.

But the International Monetary Fund’s latest report on the Saudi economy shows why the government would like prices to keep climbing, no matter what they say in public.