Saudi Arabia opened up the taps in late 2018 as it overcompensated for expected supply shortfalls in the second half of the year. Exports may well have exceeded 8mn b/d for the first time since December 2016 (MEES, 21 December 2018). And while they ought to have dipped in December, the month also likely saw over 7.5mn b/d.

The kingdom began ramping up exports in August and coupled with rising prices between then and October has been reaping the economic benefits. Latest trade figures show...