Saudi Arabia raises Oct crude prices to Europe, cuts Asia

Saudi Aramco has raised the official selling price (OSP) to Northwest Europe by $1.45 a barrel for October. Above, an Aramco exploration team in the Empty Quarter. (Reuters)
Updated 05 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia raises Oct crude prices to Europe, cuts Asia

  • Russian Urals crude prices have rallied in recent weeks as European refineries’ appetite for crudes similar to Iran’s has pushed up prices
  • Iran’s oil exports are already dropping fast as refiners scurry to find alternatives ahead of a reimposition of US sanctions

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has raised the European price for its Arab Light crude grade for October, the state oil producer said on Wednesday, as Russian Urals prices rally and European refiners seek to replace Iranian oil supplies ahead of the November US sanctions deadline.
Aramco has raised the official selling price (OSP) to Northwest Europe by $1.45 a barrel from the previous month, putting it at a discount of $1.80 per barrel to ICE Brent.
Russian Urals crude prices have rallied in recent weeks as European refineries’ appetite for crudes similar to Iran’s has pushed up prices.
Urals prices in NorthWest Europe are currently at the strongest this year, and are not far off a five year high.
Iran’s oil exports are already dropping fast as refiners scurry to find alternatives ahead of a reimposition of US sanctions in early November.
Aramco also cut its October OSP for Arab Light to Asia by $0.10 a barrel versus September, putting it a premium of $1.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.
Saudi Arabia was expected to keep prices for the light crude grades it sells to Asia largely unchanged in October from the previous month to keep its oil competitive against other suppliers, according to a Reuters survey.
The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at a premium of $1.00 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for October, up $0.10 a barrel from the previous month.


Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

Updated 19 September 2018
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Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

  • Biggest index drop in Egypt since mid-2016
  • Saudi Arabia outperforms in Gulf

LONDON: Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight.
A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.
The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.
“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.
“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday.
Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.
Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79.
OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.
Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.
A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.