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Saudis Further Discount Crude To Asia

Riyadh

In a bid to defend its Asian market share amid OPEC’s production cuts, Saudi Arabia is lowering yet again the official selling prices (OSPs) for the crude grades it sells to Asia in June, while pricing for all other regions was raised.

Saudi Aramco, the state oil giant, has cut the OSP for its flagship Arab Light crude bound for Asia for June by US$0.40 to an US$0.85-discount to the regional benchmark, Oman/Dubai average, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing an emailed statement by Aramco.

The Saudi oil company is also cutting the pricing of all its crude varieties for Asia for June, including Super Light, Extra Light, Medium, and Heavy, Reuters reports. The biggest change in June over May is for the Super Light, whose OSP was lowered by US$0.70, while the Heavy crude price for Asia was reduced by the smallest amount, US$0.20, according to Reuters figures.

A Reuters survey of five Asian refiners from Sunday showed that Saudi Arabia was expected to cut the Arab Light pricing for June by US$0.40-$0.50 compared to May, due to the fall in the Dubai crude benchmark on abundant supply.

The Saudi cut in pricing for June is the latest in a string of cuts for Arab Light pricing for the Asian market, after the reductions in the pricing for April and May.

While the Saudis are cutting crude prices for Asia, they are lifting the pricing for all crude varieties for all other regions for June, including to the U.S., Northwest Europe, and the Mediterranean.

For May, Saudi Arabia is said to be exporting full volumes of crude oil to at least three Asian clients in a move suggesting that the Kingdom is determined to maintain its market share in the fastest-growing market for energy in the world.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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