Saudi Arabia Mulls Pricing of China Oil Sales in Yuan: Report

The move would be a challenge to the U.S. dollar, which has dominated as the medium of exchange for the oil trade for decades.

AccessTimeIconMar 15, 2022 at 2:12 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:58 p.m. UTC

Saudi Arabia is in discussions with Beijing about pricing some Saudi oil sales to China in yuan instead of dollars, according to a Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter.

  • Chatter about this sort of arrangement has been ongoing for several years, but recent events have brought a new urgency to talks, according to the report, which says the Saudis are questioning longstanding U.S. security commitments to the kingdom.
  • Among the issues are what the Saudis believe to be less-than-enthusiastic support for the war in Yemen, the White House's attempt at an Iran nuclear deal and shock at the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the report said.
  • China is a buyer of more than 25% of Saudi Arabia's exported oil, according to the story.
  • The news would seemingly be of interest to the bitcoin (BTC) and gold markets, but, for now, there's little reaction, with the price of bitcoin staying in the mid-$38,000 area, and gold remaining lower by 2.1% for the day at $1,918 per ounce.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.