Saudi Arabia’s trade surplus increased for the third consecutive quarter in Q1 to its highest level since late 2019. The gains were driven by strengthening oil prices, which more than offset sharply reduced oil export volumes (MEES, 21 May).

With oil prices still the key driver of Saudi Arabia’s export revenues, the robustness of prices so far in this quarter coupled with the easing of the kingdom’s production cuts this month augers well for the surplus rising further in Q2 from Q1’s $19.9bn (see chart 1). Despite Saudi Arabia’s attempts to diversify, oil still accounted for more than 70% of export revenues last quarter. (CONTINUED - 706 WORDS)