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Saudi Arabia Raises December Official Crude Prices for Asia, Lowers Supplies to the East

Oil

Japan’s crude imports from Saudi Arabia in September averaged 1.18M b/d, down 12.8% m-o-m and the first monthly fall since its peak refinery turnaround season in June, newswires report. This is an early indication of a potential slide in supplies to the whole Asia region through the fourth quarter, as the Kingdom committed to a reduction in September allocations. Chinese oil trader Unipec received monthly cuts of around 10% for Saudi light and heavy crude grades, while overall Saudi shipments to China so far this year are down 0.6% or 38.52M tonnes y-o-y. Thailand’s Saudi imports in September stood at 247K b/d, down 7% m-o-m and S. Korea’s at 936K b/d, down 3.1% m-o-m.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has raised the December official selling price for its light grade shipped to Asian customers by 65 cents per barrel to a premium of $1.25 a barrel to the average of the Oman and Dubai benchmarks, Reuters reports. The price of super light grade was also raised by 45 cents a barrel, and extra light and medium grades’ prices rose by 65 cents per barrel. Finally, the price for the heavy grade was raised by 65 cents to a discount of $1.15 a barrel to the benchmarks, the narrowest discount since December 2013.

By mid-afternoon in London, ICE Brent was trading at $60.46 per barrel, a marginal 0.05% drop from the end of Wednesday’s trading day.