Saudi Arabia keeps Feb crude supply to Asia steady
The move was expected as the OPEC kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes to most Asian buyers since late 2009
Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil to at least two Asian term buyers in February, unchanged from January, industry sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
The move was expected as the OPEC kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes to most Asian buyers since late 2009.
State-run Saudi Aramco had made no changes to the supply volumes of each crude grade, one of the sources said.
Aramco earlier in January raised its February price for Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $0.60 versus January to a discount of $0.80 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.
Aramco kept its Arab Light official selling price (OSP) to the US unchanged at a premium of $0.15 per barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI).
It cut its Arab Light OSP to Northwest Europe by $0.60 to a discount of $4.85 a barrel to the Brent Weighted Average (BWAVE).
Aramco was expected to hike its Arab Extra Light OSP to Asia at about 70 cents a barrel, and raise its flagship Arab Light crude prices by 15-60 cents a barrel, according to a Reuters survey of Asian refiners.
They expected only a smaller price increase for Arab Medium and Heavy crude.
Traders said OSPs for Asia were raised more than expected for Arab Medium and Heavy, which one trader with a north Asian refiner said was probably to make up for low outright prices.
The December average Dubai crude price, as quoted by price-reporting agency Platts, fell to the lowest since December 2004.
Saudi's monthly oil prices set the direction for other OPEC producers Kuwait, Iran and Iraq which have undercut the top exporter in the last two years in a battle for market share amid low prices.