All of a sudden, Saudi Arabia is operating on a much sounder financial footing. The kingdom’s oil export revenues have strengthened markedly throughout 2021 and are now at their highest level since 2018. With a fair wind they could exceed these levels by the end of the year.

The speed of this reversal of fortune is at times hard to comprehend. In 2Q 2020 the kingdom’s finances were teetering on a precipice with oil export revenues of just $20.4bn, but having notched up five consecutive quarterly increase they have since soared to $55.1bn in 3Q 2020 (see chart 1). As for Q4 this year, oil prices have spent so long above $80/B, and Saudi oil export volumes have continued to rise, that a figure in excess of $60bn is very much on the cards. (CONTINUED - 798 WORDS)