Full year 2017 figures from Jodi highlight the extent of the increasing importance Saudi Arabia places on its products exports. As it cut back on its heavily-monitored crude exports as part of the Opec+ production agreement since January 2017, it simultaneously ramped up refining runs, resulting in products accounting for a record 17.1% of oil exports last year (see chart 1).

With products exports growing in the second half of 2017, the share is likely to rise further in 2018. Moreover, the...