Saudi Arabia may have ceded market share in its key Asian and US crude export markets last year, but the blow was eased by its growing role as a products exporter. With the kingdom busy securing new clients for its refined products and more refining capacity due online this year, 2016’s 7.65mn b/d may stand as the high-watermark for crude exports for some time.

Saudi Arabia’s oil products exports almost certainly topped 2016’s annual record of 1.37mn b/d last year with...