SAUDI PRICES UP
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude exporter, has raised June oil prices to Asia by the most in 14 months, in a hopeful sign that demand from the region is on the up.
Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, said in a statement on Thursday that it would raise its official selling price for its benchmark Arab Light crude by $1.10 to its customers in Asia. The region is its largest market, receiving more than half of Saudi crude exports.
The last time there was an increase this big was more than a year ago when Aramco lifted April 2015 prices by $1.40.
The price increase should be seen as welcome news to the oil market.
Despite an impressive first quarter rally, oil prices are still down more than 60 per cent from their June 2014 peak as a surge in US production coincided with a slowdown in demand from China, creating a massive over-supply.
Aramco had cut prices for its cargoes to Asia in a bid to defend its market share.
Brent gained on the news. The international oil benchmark is trading 2.6 per cent higher at $45.77 per barrel.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.