Iraq and Saudi Arabia are exporting record volumes of oil. They face growing competition from a resurgent Iran. The impact on trade flows is being felt from Suez to Seoul.

Iraqi exports, along with production, have set repeated new records in recent months – exports averaged 3.376mn b/d in 2015, up 854,000 b/d on 2014, whilst November and December 2015 and January 2016 were the three highest months on record with average volumes just shy of 3.9mn b/d (MEES, 11 March). With the key gains coming from the south of the country (see graph 1) it should be no surprise that the bulk of the extra oil has gone to Asian markets. (CONTINUED - 1833 WORDS)