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Saudi Arabia will deliver full crude oil volumes to India and Southeast Asia in August, in a sign that OPEC’s largest exporter and de facto leader is clinging to its market share in the fastest oil-demand growth region amid the production cut deal.
Saudi Arabia’s state-held oil giant Saudi Aramco will deliver full volumes and “there is no [supply] cut” even for the heavier crude grades Arab Medium and Arab Heavy, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two sources with knowledge of the issue.
Saudi Arabia is not ceding its grip on its biggest Asian market—Japan—either, and is raising market share by selling more light crude to its prized market to compensate for revenues lost from cutting the supply of the heavy crude variety. According to trade flows data by Thomson Reuters Eikon, Japan’s imports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia rose by 7.7 percent annually in the first half this year, to 1.3 million bpd, making the Saudis the biggest crude supplier to Japan. Aramco has been selling more of the Arab Extra Light to Japanese customers, as the Saudis have been offering extra light crude cargoes on top of the volumes that buyers have contracted, two Japanese refining sources told Reuters.
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According to data by ClipperData from last week, OPEC’s exports in June outpaced year-ago levels by over 2 million bpd, and every OPEC member except for Algeria and Qatar exported more crude last month.
Last week, Saudi Aramco cut the August official selling price (OSP) for its Arab Light grade for Asia by US$0.20 a barrel compared to July, to a discount of US$0.45 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, in line with market expectations. Again in line with customer expectations, the Saudis raised the OSP for Arab Heavy to Asia by US$0.10 to a discount of US$1.75 a barrel to the average Oman/Dubai price.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.