Saudi Arabia Raises Oil Prices for Asian Customers above Market Expectations

Saudi Arabia raised oil prices for its biggest market of Asia for July shipments amid rising demand as the region’s main economies easing coronavirus restrictions.

Saudi Aramco raised its key Arab Light crude grade for Asian customers by $2.10 a barrel from June to $6.50 above the benchmark it uses, which is higher than the $1.50 raise expected by the market.

The increase for July shipments resumes a series of increases that began in February and were only broken when state producer Saudi Aramco cut prices for its June shipments to $4.40 a barrel. The cut came after strict lockdown in China amid surging Covid-19 cases in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. 

The world’s biggest oil exporters also raised all grades for the north west Europe and the Mediterranean region, while keeping the prices for US customers unchanged for the second month in a row. 

Moreover, Saudi Aramco also raised the prices of shipments sold under long-term contracts after the rise of crude oil futures contracts due to the supply shortage from the Russian invasion in Ukraine.