RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, raised oil prices for its largest market in Asia more than expected as major economies in the region eased coronavirus restrictions, helping boost demand, Bloomberg reported.
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 from record levels a month ago.
Aramco raised its main grade for Arab Light crude for Asian customers by $2.10 a barrel from June to $6.50 above the benchmark it uses, as the market expected an increase of $1.50, according to a Bloomberg survey of refiners and traders.
Aramco also raised all grades for the north west Europe and the Mediterranean region, while prices for US customers remained unchanged for the second month in a row.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom also raised the prices of shipments sold under long-term contracts after the rise of futures contracts in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Crude oil has jumped more than 50 percent this year to nearly $120 a barrel, according to Bloomberg.
“In some places, the demand rebound is quite something,” Mike Muller, head of Asia at Vitol Group, said Sunday on a podcast produced by Dubai-based Gulf Intelligence.
“A lot of the south-eastern Asian countries, where I’m based, are very much exceeding expectations in terms of road-transportation demand. And try buying an air ticket in Singapore in the summer holidays. It’s awfully tough.”